What are some of the life lessons Santiago has learned through action in Paulo Coelho's novel, The Alchemist?

Expert Answers
booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the novel, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, Santiago learns a great many lessons. Santiago, a young shepherd, leaves his sheep to pursue his Personal Legend—the course of his destiny. He also learns to listen to the Language of the World.

The young boy, with the guidance of an old king, learns that there are omens everywhere, and that by paying attention to these omens, he will be able to learn what he is meant to accomplish during his life. This is his Personal Legend. When he goes on his dangerous trip across the desert, he finds more than one kind of treasure.

She smiled, and that was certainly an omen—the omen he had been awaiting, without even knowing he was, for all his life.

Santiago also learns to listen to nature, and watch for signs (omens) there: that in every aspect of the natural world, the earth is attempting to communicate its secrets if people will only listen.

The stranger continued to hold the sword at the boy's forehead. 'Why did you read the flight of the birds?'

'I read only what the birds wanted to tell me. They wanted to save the oasis.'

This novel is one that resonates with a great many people. It encourages the reader, through Santiago's story, to search for a meaning to one's own life. Santiago's life lessons can speak to people regardless of their "journey."