What lessons does Santiago learn by working for the crystal merchant?i need 4 things he learned

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davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
  1. The power of action. It's not enough to have dreams; you have to be prepared to take action to make those dreams come true. The Crystal Merchant is a Muslim and yet has never been on the Haj to Mecca. Yet, Santiago sold his sheep and quit his job as a shepherd to follow his Personal Legend.
  2. Change is both inevitable and desirable. Once again, the Crystal Merchant provides an example of what Santiago is reacting against. The Merchant is stuck in his ways, terminally resistant to change. He doesn't seem to understand why his business is failing. Santiago suggests they build an outdoor display to attract more customers. The Merchant eventually relents and Santiago's idea pays off.
  3. You must live in the present. The present moment is the only field of possibility: the past is over, and the future has yet to happen. That's the trouble with the Merchant—he doesn't embrace the present and instead allows himself to be defined by his past and a desired future that he has no intention of fulfilling. He wants to have something to look forward to in life. Ironically, this attitude guarantees that he will never have anything real to look forward to.
  4. We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Fear holds us back and stops us from taking risks. The Merchant won't go to Mecca, nor will he do anything to improve business unless prompted by Santiago. But in order to achieve our Personal Legend it is necessary to realize that the fear of suffering is always worse than the suffering itself.



mkcapen1 | Student

In the book “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, Santiagogoes on a journey after he has a dream to find a treasure of gold.  On his journey he meets different people who help him along the way.  One of the people that Santiago meets is a Crystal Merchant.  He works for the merchant in his shop as he tries to earn money for his trip.

Working for the merchant is not very pleasant.  The man is grouchy and always complains, but he is fair to Santiago.  For every piece Santiago sells he gets a part of the sale.  Santiago wants to build a cabinet to display crystal for customers who pass by to see.  The merchant is insecure about change.  Santiago learns that change is necessary for success and if one never changes, one never moves forward.

The second thing that he learns is not to put off something one intends to do.  The merchant tells how he is a devout Muslim but he has never made the pilgrimage to Mecca, because he was always afraid to trust his shop with anyone.  Yet, it is something he has always wanted to do.

He also learns that not everyone can see his dreams come true in the same way.

He has learned how to deal in crystal and how to understand language without words.

Santiago also comes to realize that he has to listen to and identify the clues and omens around him.

One of the most important things that he is starting to realize is that he was stagnant in his life as a Shepard.  The sheep had already taught him.  They could not teach him anything new, but by making his journey and meeting new people, he was learning new things.

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The Alchemist

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