In The Alchemist, how did the alchemist assist Santiago?

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Santiago is helped on his journey by many people who teach him to be positive and not give up on his quest, and that there are many different ways to achieve one's personal destiny.

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The primary way that the Alchemist helps Santiago is that he teaches the boy the importance of believing in himself. On their numerous excursions into the desert, the Alchemist shows Santiago that all people are capable of connecting with the Soul of the World as long as they listen to the omens that occur around them. In the case of the narrative of this story, we are sometimes talking about literal omens. However, this also implies listening to and trusting our intuition. Santiago learns from the Alchemist's teachings that he has the power within him to achieve his Personal Legend. In order to do so, this will mean believing in himself and knowing that his fate is in his own hands.

By listening to omens, the Alchemist shows Santiago how to connect with the Soul of the World. This is the spiritual force that connects all things, including humans and nature. It helps him plug into the universal language that unites the universe. By understanding the natural world, Santiago is better able to understand the motives and ambitions of people, including himself. He can see that all things are connected and that the people who do not understand this will never achieve their Personal Legend.

In a much more concrete way, the Alchemist also helps Santiago by giving him a large sum of gold that he creates from lead using alchemy. Of course, Santiago does not keep this gold for long, as it is stolen from him as he digs for treasure at the Pyramids.

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Santiago, the main character in Paulo Coelho's novel The Alchemist, receives help from another character, the alchemist, in a variety of ways. The alchemist acts as a mentor as well as a teacher to Santiago.

The alchemist acts as a mentor by encouraging Santiago to learn through his own experiences. One example of this is when the alchemist and Santiago grab snakes from holes in order to find life in the desert. The lesson here is that life attracts life.

The alchemist also acts as a mentor by guiding Santiago into believing in himself. Shortly after they meet, the alchemist tells Santiago that he already knows all he needs to know and that he is only going to point him in the direction of his treasure. Throughout his entire journey, Santiago learns that his personal treasure is not an actual treasure but is becoming a person who is in control or his or her own life and is connected to the world.

While the alchemist acts as a mentor for Santiago, he also teaches him. The alchemist teaches Santiago through riddles and books. These lessons help him learn how to achieve his personal legend.

All of these things are only some of the ways the alchemist helps Santiago.

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The alchemist helps Santiago by being both a teacher and mentor. As a teacher, the alchemist teaches Santiago lessons about using his supernatural powers, often through riddles that Santiago is expected to decode. These lessons, and the alchemist's experience and skills, help to get Santiago out of dangerous situations and to strengthen his knowledge of how to use his powers.

The alchemist acts a mentor, which is slightly different than just being a teacher, by encouraging Santiago to learn through experience, by modeling skills for Santiago, and most of all by helping Santiago to grow as a person by listening to his internal voice and follow his instincts. In this book, alchemy is a metaphor for personal growth and transformation. A metaphor is a literary device in which "a term or a phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance" (dictonary.com). Alchemy is the process of turning a material that is not very valuable, such as lead, into a material that is very valuable, such as gold. Using this metaphor, the alchemist in the story helps Santiago transform himself into someone who is not living his true potential into someone who is empowered, knowledgable, and connected to himself and the world around him.

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The alchemist helps Santiago in a variety of ways.  Some of them are concrete and life saving, while other are more knowledge based.  The first thing that the alchemist teaches Santiago is the importance of listening to his personal desires.  Listen to your heart as the 80's singer Roxette would say/sing. Santiago listens to the advice and re-enters his "Personal Legend" of finding the treasure at the pyramids. 

The alchemist also teaches Santiago about the Soul of the World.  Through this teaching Santiago learns to read and understand the environment around him. He also learns to communicate with the world around him through some supernatural abilities.  This leads to the concrete life saving I mentioned earlier.  At one point Santiago and the alchemist are captured by Arab raiders.  The alchemist tells the Arabs that Santiago will turn into the wind within three days.  Spoiler alert, he mystically raises a big sandstorm and amazes the Arabs with his power, so they decide to let Santiago and the alchemist go. 

In summary (and this is going to sound very cliche), the alchemist helped Santiago unlock his true potential.  

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How do certain people help Santiago on his journey in The Alchemist?

Santiago is helped on his journey by many people. He learns, for example, from the crystal merchant the importance of cleaning crystals (or doing other simple tasks) to clear one's mind and get rid of negative thoughts.

He learns too from the wisdom of the old man, who is the King of Salem. The old man tells him a "mysterious" truth:

whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It's your mission on earth.

He impresses on Santiago the importance of not giving up on pursuing his personal destiny by telling him the story of the man who believed he should dig for a precious gem. This man worked on a river bank for five years and came up empty-handed. However, just as he gave up in anger and disgust, he threw away the rock that held the precious emerald he was looking for. This teaches Santiago not to abandon his search for his destiny too soon. The king also gives Santiago the stones Urim and Thummim, whixh help him interpret omens.

Santiago is alert to the teachings of the Englishman on the caravan, who is studying alchemy. He learns from reading the Englishman's books that

the world has a soul, and that whoever understands that soul can also understand the language of things.

He also learns that he and the Englishman have different ways of learning, but that doesn't matter as much as the fact they are on the same quest:

we're both in search of our destinies, and I respect him for that.

Santiago learns from others to give up negativity, not to give up on his quest too soon, and that there are many paths to achieving one's personal destiny.

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How do certain people help Santiago on his journey in The Alchemist?

Santiago is certainly helped by many characters throughout the story, and the alchemist, Fatima, and Melchizedek tend to get most of the attention for helping Santiago obtain his Personal Legend. One character that tends to be forgotten about regarding this topic is the gypsy woman. She doesn't have that large of a presence in terms of page count, but without her initial dream interpretation, I don't believe that Santiago would have received the initial push to begin his journey.

The other character that I believe deserves some recognition for helping Santiago is the crystal merchant. First, this character gives Santiago some very concrete, practical help. The crystal merchant gives Santiago a job and pays him well. Santiago is able to keep himself well fed and taken care of for a full year or so; however, employment isn't the main thing that Santiago gets from the crystal merchant. The crystal merchant actually helps Santiago by showing Santiago what not to do and be like. The crystal merchant believes it is better to not follow his dream. That way the dream will always be alive. He fears that if he obtains his dream, he will have nothing left to live for.

"Because it's the thought of Mecca that keeps me alive. That's what helps me face these days that are all the same, these mute crystals on the shelves, and lunch and dinner at that same horrible café. I'm afraid that if my dream is realized, I'll have no reason to go on living."

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How do certain people help Santiago on his journey in The Alchemist?

There are many characters who help Santiago during his journey in Coelho's The Alchemist. Some characters are people, some are natural elements, and some are abstract ideas and beliefs. Some of the people who help him are: Melchizedek, the King of Salem who starts him off on the journey; Fatima, the girl with whom he falls in love from the Oasis and who could have distracted him from continuing on during the middle of his journey; and, of course, the Alchemist, who assists him during the final part of his journey. The natural elements that also become characters who help Santiago are the Desert, the Wind, and the Sun who all help him during the climax of the story to discover the Soul of the World and how to travel like the wind. Had he not learned to travel like the wind, he and the Alchemist would have been killed by warlords. Finally, the abstract ideas and beliefs that help Santiago on his journey are the Omens that he learns to follow, Love, or the Soul of the World which makes life meaningful and the true way of communication between men and the universe, and the Languages of Life, the World and the Universe. The best advice that binds these three groups of helpers to Santiago is best given by the Alchemist when he says, "Don't give into your fears... If you do, you won't be able to hear your heart" (141). Without listening to his own heart (another type of character) Santiago would have been left without any communication to the other characters throughout the story.

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In Coelho's The Alchemist, how do certain people help Santiago on his journey?

Certain people definitely do help Santiago throughout this novel. I always think it is interesting to discuss the idea that every single person Santiago encounters helps him in some way. This would include the people that try to thwart his efforts. Scientifically, this relates to something called the "observer effect." It states that the act of observing something will influence the phenomenon being observed. One of the major things that Santiago learns is that the journey and process of obtaining his Personal Legend is every bit as important as the hypothetical end reward. It has to be said that Santiago's journey involved just as many pitfalls as successes, yet he would not end up the man he is at the end of the story without those interactions. By this reasoning, even the bandits helped Santiago.

Of course, if you want to go with a more concrete answer, then I would go with the crystal merchant. He gives Santiago very real, very concrete help by giving Santiago a job that pays well. Santiago keeps that job for a full year. Consequently, he is well-taken care of and well-fed. The crystal merchant also helps Santiago unintentionally. The crystal merchant shows Santiago what not to do and what not be like. The merchant is a great character, and I do understand his reasoning about chasing and obtaining a dream—I don't agree with it, but I understand it. The merchant believes it is better not to pursue and obtain a dream. By never obtaining the dream, the dream will forever be alive. His fear is that he will have nothing left to live for after obtaining the dream. Fortunately, Santiago thinks the dream is worth the risk.

Because it's the thought of Mecca that keeps me alive. That's what helps me face these days that are all the same, these mute crystals on the shelves, and lunch and dinner at that same horrible café. I'm afraid that if my dream is realized, I'll have no reason to go on living.

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In Coelho's The Alchemist, how do certain people help Santiago on his journey?

There are many people who help Santiago journey through the world to achieve his Personal Legend. First, he seeks out a Gypsy who tells him that his dream is real and important. Then, the King of Salem appears to motivate and to teach him about his dream about finding treasure at the Pyramids in Egypt. The King also gives him Urim and Thummim to help guide his way. Third, the Crystal Merchant helps by feeding him and then giving him a job. Next, the Englishman gives him books to learn about alchemy and Fatima teaches him of love's importance and that love will wait for Personal Legends to be fulfilled. Then the Alchemist helps Santiago to physically get to the pyramids and teaches him more about alchemy and courage. But, don't forget that Santiago learns to help himself by listening to his heart; and, non-human helpers include the desert, the wind, and the sun.

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