What did Santiago learn at the end of the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho?

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Santiago learns a lot of different things in the closing pages of the book and all throughout the story. I think the one ongoing lesson throughout the book is a lesson in perseverance. Santiago is continually met with obstacles that force him to consider whether or not to go on...

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Santiago learns a lot of different things in the closing pages of the book and all throughout the story. I think the one ongoing lesson throughout the book is a lesson in perseverance. Santiago is continually met with obstacles that force him to consider whether or not to go on in pursuit of his Personal Legend. Over and over again, Santiago chooses to continue; however, he doesn't learn until the end of the book that the actual journey was far more important than any supposed monetary treasure. This is what the wind tells him at the end of the book.

"No," he heard a voice on the wind say. "If I had told you, you wouldn't have seen the Pyramids. They're beautiful, aren't they?"

Santiago also learns that love is a far more important and beautiful treasure than any monetary and materialistic treasure could be. It's why the book ends with him seeking out Fatima.

Finally, I also think that an important lesson that Santiago learns in the final third of the book is about the value of possessing great treasures within. I think that treasure relates to both perseverance and love, and the alchemist makes a point of telling Santiago how valuable those internal treasures can be.

"To show you one of life's simple lessons," the alchemist answered. "When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed."

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On the last page of the book, and before the Epilogue, Coelho writes that Santiago's heart burst with joy "because now he knew where his treasure was" (163). Outside of the deep, personal lessons that Santiago learns on his journey to finding his treasure, the question is always persistent as to whether or not he will actually find a real treasure of gold and jewels in the end; happily, he does. He discovers that his treasure was buried in the old, abandoned church where the story began where he and his sheep slept for the night. It was also there that Santiago had his dream about finding the treasure at the Pyramids in Egypt. Without the 2-3 year journey through the desert, though, he wouldn't have discovered how to listen to his heart, to the earth, to the wind, and all of the other elements associated with the Language of the World. Without these and many other experiences, he never would have learned about love, alchemy, or himself, either.

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