The Alchemist is a fable. A fable has a meaning; it is a cautionary tale. The main character is Santiago which means "saint" in Spanish. He is a shepherd man. He has a dream over and over. It bothers him so much that he seeks help from a gypsy. She tells him, that yes it is important. He must go to the Egyptian pyramids to find a treasure. Ok. He he decides to go but first he meets an old man who tells him you should be looking around and listening. Pay attention to omens the old man says, who is really a king. The king says "the principle of favorability, beginner's luck. Because life wants you to achieve your destiny."Santiago starts his long journey leaving his sheep behind.
This is the story or fable: one must leave behind what they know, what is familiar, to find what is needed to live.
Look at the myth of Odysseus. Look at Homer's The Odyssey and James Joyce's Ulysses. They are all the same story, perhaps the only story there is about how to live.