Write A Literary Analysis Of “The Alchemist” By Paulo Coelho

The main character in “The Alchemist,” Santiago, dreams about finding treasure in Egypt’s pyramids.

In “The Alchemist,” Brazilian author Coelho writes about a shepherd boy, Santiago, who has a dream of treasure in Egypt’s pyramids. The recurring dream is so realistic that Santiago leaves behind his life in Spain and heads off in search of the riches, meeting many people and learning lessons along the way. Writing a literary analysis of “The Alchemist” allows the story’s reader to put into words his personal thoughts about the effectiveness of the work as a whole or about one particular aspect of the piece.


1. Formulate a thesis statement. Consider the purpose of your analysis, and craft a declarative sentence explaining this purpose. For example, if your analysis is meant to examine the value of the story’s moral — “…when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” — then your thesis statement should convey that idea.

2. Write an introductory paragraph. Give a brief summary of the story, explaining who Santiago is, why he is on a journey and what becomes of him in the end, and then lead into the thesis. The thesis statement should be placed at the end of the introduction.

3. Create a graphic organizer with at least three topic sentences and their supporting details. Determine what points you will make to help explain the thesis, write them as topic sentences and then note several details from the novel that you can use to support each point. For example, you may write about the ways in which Santiago fulfilled his destiny in relation to the tale’s moral lesson.

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4. Write the body of the essay. Using your notes from the graphic organizer, script your paragraphs, each beginning with one of the topic sentences and supporting that statement with its coordinating details.

5. Finish with a conclusion paragraph. The conclusion should briefly review the main points of the essay and restate your original thesis in a different way.