In The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, what is the signifigance of Santiago becoming a shepherd rather than a priest as his parents had hoped?

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Another significant aspect of Santiago becoming a shepherd instead of a priest is that it shows that he is very brave: he goes against his parents' wishes during a time when children were expected to obey their parents unconditionally. Santiago makes the courageous choice to follow his heart, which leads him to discover his Personal Legend. This encourages young readers to do the same—to pursue their own interests and passions instead of following their parents' wishes without question. Furthermore, the adults that Santiago meets on his journey serve more as guides than as authoritative figures. The king, the gypsy, and the alchemist did not give Santiago all the answers, but they encourage him to make his own decisions and learn from his own mistakes. This is the way that the reader can learn to achieve their own Personal Legend.

Santiago becomes a shepherd to fulfill his desire to travel the world. As a priest, he would have to immediately forgo this desire. He would have to follow...

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