The Alchemist Questions and Answers
by Paulo Coelho

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What events in The Alchemist were foreshadowed, and how were they foreshadowed?

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Brazilian author Paulo Coelho’s modern fable The Alchemist is a story about following one’s life dreams. As such, dream-traveler Santiago prepares for his journey through life by learning from the wisdom he gathers from his teachers. Much of the acquired knowledge he gains from the animal, divine, human, and natural mentors comes to him in his dreams, which foreshadow the events in the story.

At the outset of the tale, protagonist Santiago is troubled by a recurring dream, but he always awakens before the dream finishes:

I wanted to sleep a little longer, he thought. He had had the same dream that night as a week ago, and once again he had awakened before it ended.

Santiago believes “his purpose in life was to travel.” He feels there is much more to learn about life if he can gain some experiences through travel. However, his father discourages him by indicating that many people travel thinking their lives will change, but they return the same. Nevertheless, Santiago longs to seek...

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