Why is Paulo Coelho's novel named The Alchemist and who is the Alchemist in the novel?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The Alchemist is the man that Santiago meets during his stay at the Oasis before he sees the Pyramids of Egypt. He is the final person who helps him learn about the Language of the World and of the Universe before Santiago is about to realize his Personal Legend. He teaches him about the principles that govern alchemy which are also parallel to those that govern the refiner's fire, or how a person changes within himself for the better. The Alchemist is key to Santiago's personal journey and that is why the novel is also entitled this way. Without Santiago meeting the Alchemist, he would have stayed in the Oasis, married Fatima, and been diverted from his journey to achieving his Personal Legend.