What are some literary techniques used in The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho?

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Coelho creates a mythic universe, and uses simple language and archetypes to convey his universal truth that everyone should find and follow their own Personal Legend.

Though described realistically and set in real places, such as Egypt, Coelho's universe is mythic in that it exists outside of history. We don't know what year the story takes place. It takes place in the pre-industrial past, but not in a specific time that we can pin down. Coelho does this deliberately to underscore that the wisdom he conveys is true for all times and cultures.

Coelho also uses archetypal characters. According to Carl Jung, archetypal characters are types that appear across all cultures. They represent the human collective unconscious. Santiago, for example, fits the archetype of the hero. The hero goes on a quest that tests him and leads to personal transformation as he overcomes obstacles, just as Santiago does.

Finally, Coelho uses simple, almost childlike language, again to underline the universality of his...

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