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Alchemist Archetypes

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In the alchemist by Paul Coelho, he writes about a shepherd named Santiago. Santiago’s journey is written mainly through situation archetypes. Archetypes are used to categorize people and a situation in stories, poems, plays ect. The predominant archetypes are situational. The most distinguished archetypes in the alchemist are the initiation, the quest, death and rebirth, the journey, and supernatural intervention. The first archetype in the entire book is the initiation; the initiation is the starting point of Santiago’s journey across the world. The initiation is a dream Santiago has two nights in a row when he slept under a sycamore by a church. His dream was of treasure buried by the Egyptian pyramids. The recurring dream causes him to see a gypsy who tells him to go to the pyramids and if he does he’ll owe her money, while he’s contemplating an old man approaches and tells him to listen to his dream. The boy was unsure of weather to listen or not because he felt the man was unreliable until he discovered the old man was an old king, the deal was half his sheep if the boy left for Egypt. The boy pays the man and it initiates his journey.

Next is death and rebirth of his journey when he gets robbed and must work at the chrystal shop to regain his stolen money. Santiago originally sees this as the end and he’ll never get to the pyramids and the document. Eventually he realizes his robbery as a omen to meet what he will be, if he fails to complete his personal legend. The merchant resembles death because he will never accomplished his personal legend because he is afraid he will have nothing to a for afterwards. Santiago hears the merchants story and it causes a rebirth that tells Santiago of what will become of him if he doesn’t reach the pyramids.

Santiago realizes his journey when he leaves the alchemist. Before the alchemist took some Santiago to the pyramids he gives the boy a few tests to see if he’s ready. His task is to find life in the desert, he finds it by releasing the reigns of his horse; the horse finds a snake. Another task is to become the wind.

The wind is a supernatural intervention. It begins the Santiago talking to the desert about love and the wind; the dessert tells Santiago he must talk to the wind. When the wind comes Santiago speaks of the same he did with the desert; the wind knew not of love or how to transform into the wind either. The wind sends Santiago to the sun. The sun speaks and claims to know of love, but Santiago objects and tells the sun what he thinks is love is not created from great distances but close relations. The sun originally is infuriated, but relaxes and tells Santiago to go to the hand that wrote it all, god. The wind, sun and the desert listened with great anticipation. The hand comes forth and Santiago immediately collapses to his knees into prayer, a silent prayer with no words no pleas. The next time Santiago was seen he was on the opposite side of the camp, he had become the wind.

In the last part of his quest, when Santiago was at the pyramids, he found nothing. As he was digging two men approached and found some gold in his pocket and assumed he had dug it up. So they beat him up, and told him to tell them where he found it. They proceeded to beat him. As the men left one spoke of a dream he had when he and napped by the pyramids, much like the one Santiago had to. The man dreamed of treasure by a sycamore tree by a church, where Santiago’s quest had begun. When Santiago heard he knew where his treasure was. When he returned to where he began he knew he had completed his personal legend.

In the end Santiago learns of omens good and bad. He learned how to become the wind. Everything he learned or experienced can be categorized under one or another archetype. Archetypes can be distinguished in more than one ways, such as situations, symbols, numbers, shapes and colors. The most dominant archetype is the situational archetypes.

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