The Alchemist Essay

1985 words - 8 pages

All our lives images, movies, radio, television, and novels have influenced us, and all have been biased in some manner. Texts are prejudiced by what period they have been made in, a movie made in the 70's would be adversely affected by the Vietnam War. A novel written by an Australian about World War Two would be discriminatory against the Japanese and the Germans among others who were also involved in the conflict but where on the other side. The novel that Yr 12 Saint Augustine Students, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is no different and is also subjective.Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for letting me speak here today but let me get into this straight away. Coelho writes from a viewpoint of Romanticism. (Power Point Slide for Quote 1) Let me prove this. Coelho proclaimed himself as a romantic when he said "I had this...." Romanticism which's been what you've been studying here at TAFE College. Before I can continue we must have a similar understanding as to what Romanticism actually is.The notion of Romanticism began in the eighteenth century as a reaction to the dominant philosophy for most of that century, this was Realism. Romanticism includes ideals such as change, individual approach, exploring new reaches, emphasis on feelings, emotions, individual thought instead of a collective, love of nature and rejection of traditional ways. Impulsiveness and risk taking as well as little care for money.All of these ideals are present in the Alchemist through the thoughts, views and actions of the boy the book is centered on, Santiago. A common style of writing a novel, is to develop the plot of the story but Coelho has used a less common method of developing the character rather then the plot. Sure the plot continues to grow but not at the rate of understanding of the character and revealing of the thinking process of the major character(s) such as Santiago. As was said before, this book clearly shows a predominantly romantic disposition and the most obvious of these is change. But to have a full understanding of the two opposing philosophies, we must state what realism is. The fundamentals of the realist philosophy is change, not taking any risks, planning, logical methodical thinking, survival and money and powerIn Coelho's novel, The Alchemist, Santiago said (Power point Slide for Quote 2) "it was a pleasant change from talking to his sheep" Why is change linked to the romanticism only? Surely practical, methodical people also value change for the logical reason of survival and profit? If the businesses of today conducted advertising and used the technologies of the 1900's they would easily go bankrupt in today's contemporary society of advertising and competition. This is the reality of business, if the company is not up to date then they will be lost so caution must be taken and planning. There are many characters who are dismissed or silenced who are realistic.The first plainly apparent realist that is met is the 'King of Salem" On page 19...

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