What are the changes Santiago experiences by the end of "The Alchemist"?

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Susan Woodward eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning, Santiago is afraid to trust his dreams/intuition and so he seeks the aid of a gypsy woman to interpret a dream for him.  Her words are actually a confirmation of what Santiago believed to be the meaning of the dream, but instead of trusting himself, he sought a second opinion. As he goes on his journey across the Sahara, he shows how he is finally able to put faith in his own judgement and intuition.  When he asks the Alchemist how he is supposed to turn himself into the wind, the Alchemist refuses to give him the step-by-step instructions Santiago hopes for.  Throughout the test, Santiago begins to trust his intuition, and he is successful.  At the end, when the robber tells Santiago about his own dream and how he refused to succumb to the temptation to go on such a journey for a stupid dream, Santiago realizes how foolish the man's words are.  The description in the dream leads Santiago to find a marvelous treasure, and then leads him to join the one he loves.

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The Alchemist

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