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Nate Shepard's Monomyth Project

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FC: The Alchemist and the Monomyth by Nate Shepard

2: The Call to Adventure The Call to Adventure in The Alchemist is represented by a recurrent dream that the boy has. The dream is the reason that he decides to embark on his journey. In the dream, he describes to a dream-interpreter a child that tells him about a hidden treasure. "Then, at the Egyptian pyramids" he says to the interpreter "the child said to me 'If you come here, you will find a hidden treasure.'" (Coelho 13). .

4: Refusal of the Call The Refusal is when the boy doesn't believe that the dream was actually a message. He thinks that the time with the interpreter was a waste and he vows to "never again believe dreams" (Coelho 15). He continues on, wanting to stay in his hometown, continue being a shepherd, and marry a merchant's daughter. Instead of thinking about traveling to Egypt, "he was thinking about shearing his sheep in front of the merchant's daughter" (Coelho 16).

6: Supernatural Aid Supernatural aid is provided by King Melchizedek of Salem. He explains to the boy that it is important to listen to omens and that everybody has the choice in life to follow their Personal Legend. He gives the boy "a white stone and a black stone" called Urim and Thumim (Coelho 30). These stones are supposed to help him make important decisions on his journey when he is unable to read omens.

8: Crossing the Threshold Crossing the Threshold was very literal in The Alchemist because it occurs when he crosses the Mediterranean to Africa from his hometown in Spain. He leaves the comfort of his home behind, where he had a job and a possible wife to explore an entirely different world. "How strange Africa is, thought the boy" (Coelho 33).

10: The Belly of the Whale The boy finds himself "alone in the dark" when he is in the port town Tangier. He thinks he has found a guide to bring him to the pyramids, but it turns out that it was a thief who takes all of the boy's savings. This part is ironic because the thief tells the boy to be careful here because "every port has it's thieves" (Coelho 37).

12: The Road of Trials The Road of Trials begins when he meets the crystal merchant. With him, he earns enough money to continue on his journey. He also picks up on the language of this new world. These are some physical improvements. Some mental ones are the realization that if he can "learn to understand this language without words" he could "learn to understand the world" (Coelho 44). He also learns the meaning of the word maktub, which is Arabic for "it is written" (Coelho 59).

14: Meeting with the Goddess The Goddess in this story is an unusual one. That is because it is not a woman, but an Englishman. He points the boy in the right direction when he tells him that the caravan he is traveling with is headed towards the pyramids. The Englishman tells about a man who knows the "universal language" and that person is "an alchemist" (Coelho 71). Realizing that meeting the Englishman was an omen, he sets out on his journey to find the Alchemist.

16: Temptation Away from the True Path One of the stops on the way to the pyramids is an oasis town called Al-Fayoum. There he meets a girl named Fatima. "What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing" (Coelho 93). He has to make up his mind whether or not to settle down in the oasis with Fatima, his love, or to continue on his journey and risk never seeing her again. She says "I want you to continue toward your goal" and "if I really am a part of your dream, you'll come back one day" (Coelho 97).

18: Atonement with the Father The Alchemist is the Father in this story. He is probably the biggest help for the boy to realize his Personal Legend. The Alchemist teaches the boy how to better understand the language of the world and to listen to his heart. He tells the boy that his heart "knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there" (Coelho 127).

20: Apotheosis This occurs when the Alchemist and the boy are confronted by a group of tribesmen who seem very hostile. They threaten to kill both of them, so the Alchemist makes them an offer. The boy will have three days to "transform himself into the wind" and if he can't do it then they will offer their lives (Coelho 140). The boy spends the next few days trying to communicate with the Soul of the World. He begins communicating with the desert, the wind, the sun, and then finally God. "The boy reached through the Soul of the World and saw that it was a part of the Soul of God. And he saw that the Soul of God was his own soul. And that he, a boy, could perform miracles" (Coelho 152). So he turns into the wind and they escape the tribesmen.

22: Refusal of the Return The refusal can be seen when the boy is digging for his treasure. Two men find him and begin to beat him up to get his money because they think he is hiding something. The boy "felt that death was near" (Coelho 162). Finally, he confesses that he was digging for treasure and they laugh at him. One of them says that he had a dream that there was treasure under a sycamore tree by a church. The boy realizes that this location is in his hometown in Spain. The man says that he wasn't "so stupid as to cross an entire desert just because of a recurrent dream" (Coelho 163). I think the refusal was when he was about to give up his life to keep the secret that there was treasure there. Admitting so saved his life and allowed him to return home.

24: Master of Two Worlds The boy becomes a master of two worlds because not only does he complete his journey and find the treasure of "a chest of Spanish gold coins", but he also understands the Language of the World (Coelho 166). He can now return to the desert to settle down with Fatima and live a long, wealthy life.

26: Works Cited

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