Monday, March 23, 2015

The Oasis is not a respite from omens

In this section, Santiago meets Fatima, a beautiful young girl. He immediately tells Fatima that he will marry her and surprisingly, Fatima, concedes after talking with Santiago each day when they meet at the well. Perhaps, Fatima is his treasure. She urges him to complete his personal quest and she will wait for him. While discussing the books, the Englishman explains that the “alchemists spent years in their laboratories, observing the fire that purified the metals. They spent so much time close to the fire that gradually they gave up the vanities of the world. They discovered that the purification of the metals had led to a purification of themselves.” As a woman of the desert, Fatima understands that in order to understand himself, Santiago must experience his personal legend. If he does not, then he will never be complete. At the end of this section, Santiago watches as two hawks attack each other and he visits the chieftans to tell them about his vision. According to the camel driver, the tribal leaders are skilled in the way of omens. Santiago thinks that his vision is a harbinger of war approaching the oasis. 


  1. Do you think that Santiago will eventually have to choose between completing his personal quest or marrying Fatima? I think Fatima does not understand the alchemist due to her telling Santiago to complete his quest. If he continues on this journey, he may become like the other scientists and forget about the pleasures of the world.

  2. When Santiago meets Fatima, this Soul of the World business emerges again, this time defined as love. When Santiago comes into Fatima's presence, he immediately understands he loves her. "At that moment, it seemed to him that time stood still, and the Soul of the World surged within him...he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke - the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love" ( Coelho 92). He believes that God, who has written everything in the world, has created a "twin soul" (Coelho 93) for everyone to love. It seems that Fatima is Santiago's treasure or at least part of his treasure. She is entwined with his Personal Legand because she has been presented by the Soul of the World and spoke to him in the Language of the World.