A Book for College Students: Paulo Coelho's, The Alchemist

By Christopher Bonnaig on February 6, 2013

Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is a master piece.

This 163 page story of a young shepherd Santigo would be entertaining to children, but Coelho is able to intertwine concepts of “The soul of the world”, love, treasure, the universe, and personal legends, that can speak to journey of self discovery for college students.

He details these themes in the form of a journey to Egypt where the boy is in search of a treasure. As you will find out by reading the book, and Santiago by joureying, the treasure is in the journey, in discovering his personal legend.

Here are 10 quotes and passages from the book, that illustrate the aforementioned themes, and can hopefully serve as some inspiration.

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting”

“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

“It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”

“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”

“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

“We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.”

“All things are the manifestation of one thing only.”

“When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.”

“It is we who nourish the Soul of the World, and the world we live in will be either better or worse, depending on whether we become better or worse. And that’s where the power of love comes in. Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.

“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”


Christopher is a contributing writer for Uloop, Drexel University branch. Contact cpbonnaig(at)gmail(dot)com for all inquiries.

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