the alchemist - summary








A young shepherd name Santiago had a dream about a treasure buried near the Egyptian pyramids, while he was sleeping in the abandon church in Spain. Santiago lives in Spain and when he went to the gypsy (old woman), she tells him to go Egyptian pyramids in search of his treasure. Later he met an old man, who was the king of Salem, helped Santiago make his decision to follow his dream.

Santiago went Africa after selling all his sheep flock. At first he got deceive by a thief. He later works at a crustal shop for he had no money. The owner of crystal shop tells him that going to Egyptian pyramids is a distant dream he can’t achieve. This makes him disappointed and after being dishearten he decided to collect enough money, so he can be a shepherd again.

He works 11 months and 9 days at the crystal shop, but just at the time, he was about to leave for his home town, a sudden thought came to him that he can always be a shepherd again but this is the only time he can pursue his dream. And if he doesn’t do so he may regret rest of his life. Therefore he set on a journey with a caravan and meets an Englishman, was also going with the caravan. During his journey the Englishman told him about the alchemist.

The caravan stays at an oasis because war was going around in the desert. There he met a girl name Fatima and soon both fell in love.

At the oasis Santiago had a vision that an army would attack them. He explains it to the chief of oasis and therefore they manage to overpower the tribesmen army later attacked them. The chief of oasis awarded Santiago with 50 gold coins.

Afterwards Santiago meets an alchemist who acts as his mentor and guides him to the pyramid. While travelling with the alchemist they were robbed by a tribe but somehow succeed in getting away with it.

When they reach a monastery, alchemist gets to his separate way. But form there the Egyptian pyramids were only at the distance of 3 hours. Alchemist gave the boy with some gold before he left for pyramids.

At last Santiago arrives at the pyramid. He had achieved what he was dreaming for more than a year; his heart was bursting with joy. Santiago was shedding tears for being at the height of happiness. He dug where his tears fell.

Suddenly three figures appear in the dark. They were robbers and forced the boy to dig more when they found the gold alchemist gave him. They though Santiago was hiding something precious. But when Santiago found nothing after digging deep, they started beating him. Santiago started bleeding. He told the three about his dream, as he thought that treasure would be useless if he dies. One of three said Santiago had nothing and he might have himself stolen the gold and left him.

The one, who said it, comes back and told Santiago that he had the same dream of a treasure hiding in an abandon church in Spain. But he was not stupid therefore he never went to Spain just because of a dream. Now it all came to Santiago that the treasure he was searching for was at the same abandon church where he had the dream. Ultimately, his dream came true when he get back to that abandon church in Spain and dig out his treasure. He now thinks about Fatima, who is waiting for him.





The story revolves around a boy name Santiago. Santiago was the son of the farmer, who wanted him to be a priest, but Santiago loved traveling and therefore he decided to be a shepherd. Although he was a shepherd yet he has a great tendency for reading books and had decent education.

The story begins when its night and Santiago enters an abandon church, had a broken ceiling. He spent the night there with his flock of sheep but when he awakes up it was still dark. Santiago saw a dream and it was the same, he had a weak ago. He started making the sheep awake and starts traveling. He used to talk with his sheep and from few days he is just talking about a girl he met a year before. Now it has just four days left to be at her land again. He is under the sky and thinking of his father, who accepted his wish to be a shepherd with compassion. It was dawn but after some time sun appeared.



The boy goes to an old woman known for interpreting dreams. Santiago dream was, he is in a field with his sheep and a child came that starts playing with the animals. Later the child holds his hand and teleport him to Egyptian pyramids. There the child tells him about his treasure but when the child was about to show him the exact place he woke up both time. The gypsy said that she would not charge him anything now, but he would have to pay her 1/10 of the treasure if he would find it. Further she said that he should go to the Egyptian pyramid.



The boy got confused by listing to the gypsy and decided to go market to eat something. He got into a plaza and started reading a book along with a wine bottle. An old man came and sat next to him. He tried to strike up a conversation but as the boy was reading he tried to avoid. However after several attempts the conversation begins.

After asking him, old man tells the boy that he is a king and will help him find treasure if he gives him 1/10 of the flock. The boy didn’t believe him initially but later started trusting him for the miracles he showed to him. He asked him to meet at this same place tomorrow.



Santiago was confused and finds it hard to make a decision. As he thought of his sheep who are entirely dependent on him. He also thought of the girl whom he will meet in next three days, if he would be on the old journey he was having and give up the thought of search for treasure. But after thinking for a while he decided that he will go to the Egyptian pyramids. The next day boy came with 1/10 of the sheep while selling the rest. He gave the sheep to the old king who handovers him two stones from his bracelet. He told the boy that the stones would help him in making decisions. One stone was white, other was black. White means no, while black indicates yes.



When Santiago arrived at the land of Africa, he realized that he had forgotten about one thing which can be an obstacle to reach the treasure. It was Arabic language which he didn’t know. He gets to a place where a young man offered him to be his guide. The young man was Spanish and Santiago gave him all the money he had. Santiago didn’t refused, when the boy asked to show the money because he was the only person Santiago can communicate properly and he don’t want to appear unfriendly. While passing through the crowded market Santiago loses his sight from the boy, who got vanished.

He got really disappointed but after some time he regains his spirit of being on adventure. Santiago wakes up after sleeping in the market for the night.



When the boy woke up next morning the market was getting open. A candy maker gave him a candy to eat, after which the boy went further and find a crustal piece shop. Outside the shop, it was written that the shop keeper can speak several languages.

The boy asked the shop keeper that, would the shopkeeper give him something to eat if he cleans the crystal pieces? But when the shop keeper kept looking at him and did not say anything, the boy himself started cleaning glasses. After which they went for lunch.



While the boy having lunch, the shop keeper told him that Egypt is too far away and even if he work for an entire year, he would still need to borrow money for the journey. The boy got really disappointed as his dream got broke into pieces. The shop keeper said that he would give him a job by which he would earn enough money to get back home.

The boy worked at crystal shop for 11 months and 9 days after which he gathered enough money to buy 120 sheep, a return ticket and a trading license to take goods along with him. Now he also had learned Arabic.



The boy talked to the shop keeper and had his last conversation before leaving. But after the talk, he realizes that he can be a shepherd whenever he wants to, but he would never get the chance to follow his dream again. At least he is two hours closer to his destiny, which was the treasure he had come for.

Before the boy set out on his journey to the Egypt, he met an English man at a café. The English man was also going on the journey along with the same caravan; therefore they accompanied each other in the caravan. They spend most of their time having conversations. While traveling the boy learned that there is war taking place among different tribesmen, and that in the vast desert they are in the constant danger. On the other hand, The English man was a well-educated person who was searching for a true alchemist. An alchemist is a person who can convert other materials into gold. Englishman told this to the boy.

After several days of traveling the caravan arrived at an oasis. It was a large oasis with hundreds of wells, trees and full of other caravans and people. The head of the caravan said that it was war in the desert between different tributes and therefore they would stay in the oasis until things got back to normal. At oasis the Boy meets a girl, name Fatima and both fell in love with each other. Whereas English man reveals to Santiago that, here nearby the oasis he met an alchemist, who told him to keep trying, what he has been doing up till now.



While Santiago was at the oasis he had a vision that some tribesmen are attacking oasis, therefore he talked about it with a camel man. The camel man takes him to the chief. The chief asked the boy why any other person in the oasis had not this vision but you only. The boy said as he is an outsider and his eyes are not accustomed to the normal things of the desert, therefore he had a vision while watching two hawks flying.

When the boy came out of chief’s tent it was night, no one was around. A horseman came from nowhere with a sword and asked Santiago that, what he was doing here. After exchanging few words, he said Santiago that he was courageous and he should see him later. He told him that he lives in the south. The horse man was alchemist.

The next day Santiago’s dream manifested accordingly and an army of tribesmen came to oasis. They attacked chief’s tent after encircling it. As the people of oasis already prepared, the tent was empty and suddenly the people of oasis attacked the tribesmen army, who had broken the custom and law of never bringing an army to an oasis, because oasis is a neutral territory. The oasis chief faced out the attacker’s army and rewarded the boy with 50 gold coins. He also offered him to be his counselor.

After that boy went to the south, where he saw the horse man (alchemist) he met last night. Alchemist advised him to go to the pyramids, because it was war everywhere in the desert and therefore caravan would stay here for undeclared period of time.

The boy decided to go to the Egyptian pyramids with alchemist and therefore he met Fatima before setting on the journey, with the promise that he will return.



The boy continued his journey with the alchemist and after traveling a long distance they were caught by tribesmen, who take them to the military tent of their chief. The alchemist presented the boy’s gold coin to the chief who accepted it. When the alchemist asked said that Santiago is an alchemist who has natural powers and can destroy this army tent into ruins. The chief asked Santiago to show his powers and if he fails to show him within the next three days he will kill him. Santiago was panicked. He talked to the desert and the desert talked to him. He had conversation with the wind and with the sun. After which stormy wind blow hard and the tent was blown away, which lead chief to believe Santiago.

Again he continued his journey with alchemist. After travelling to some distance alchemist got separated from Santiago at a monastery. Where alchemist convert lead into gold and divided into four parts. Gives one part to the monk of the monastery, one to Santiago, and kept one for him while he gave fourth part to the monk as the custodian for Santiago. Alchemist said that he had given it for Santiago because there were many robbers in the desert.



From here the pyramids are at the distance of several hours. So, the boy continued his journey alone. At last he reached at the pyramids and it was night. When he climbed a sand dune, he could saw far away in the entire desert and the majestic pyramids. He could do so because it was full moon. Santiago sat down and started crying. He started digging where his first drops of tears fell, as that’s what his heart told him to do. After digging for some time he’s getting tired now, but he kept digging for the wind was putting sand back into the pit.

He heard footsteps and three black figures appear from nowhere. They were war refugees and wanted money from the boy. But first they asked what Santiago was doing here. The boy didn’t say anything for he was terrified, he didn’t want to lose his treasure to these people. They took the gold piece of Santiago (which alchemist gave him) and make him dig more. As the thought Santiago had some kind of treasure which he was hiding there. But even after digging some more they can’t see anything, because there wasn’t there actually. They started beating the Santiago because they believed that he was hiding treasure. They beat him to so much that Santiago clothes tore into shreds and he started bleeding.

The sun has raised now and the Santiago was bleeding. The Santiago remembered what alchemist told him “what use of gold if it can’t save his life. And it really happens that money saves someone’s life”.

At last the boy screamed out that he came here in the search of treasure, which he saw in a reoccurring dream. The one who appeared to be the leader among the three, it made him feel that Santiago was telling the truth. Therefore he told the other two, to leave the boy and said he had nothing and maybe the gold he possessed, he had stolen from somewhere. They leave the boy.

The boy sat up unconsciously. But before going away the leader came back and he shock Santiago and told him that he would not die but going to live and he had learned that a man should not be that’s stupid. Further he told Santiago that, two years ago he had a reoccurring dream at that same place, in which he saw a treasure hidden in an abandon church where a shepherd and his sheep had been sleeping. The church was in Spain but he was not that stupid to go all the way crossing desert just because of a reoccurring dream.

When they got away, the boy again looked at the pyramids. He started laughing for his heart was bursting with joy because he knew now where his treasure actually is. He went back to the abandon church in Spain and finally found his treasure, but he still remembers his deal with the gypsy and thinks of Fatima.




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