What is your personal response to The Alchemist?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As with much in way of a personal response, individual impressions and feelings will have to be examined.  Perhaps a starting point here can guide the articulation of these conditions.  There is something personal about the feel of the work.  The idea of individuals having to define life as setting off on a journey of personal growth, individual differentiation, and being fundamentally different from others is captivating.  It is an affirmation of being in the world.  One distinct impression that is taken from the work is that Coelho speaks of a larger vision that governs being in the world.  

However, the work lacks a specific religious notion of the good.  There is an absence of dogmatism and ceremonial understandings of spiritual identity.  Rather, Coelho, through Santiago and the Alchemist, seems to be suggesting that individuals find their own voice and their own path.  The search for "treasure" is an internal one and individuals can define both the voyage to find this and what its ends result will be.  It is here in which there has to be some type of personal response to the work.  The end message that emerges from it is personal and individualistic.  The reader winds up seeking to take the lessons that are gained from Santiago and the alchemist and reflects on such a presence in their own life.  This makes the personal response to the work, personal in different ways.

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