Coelho’s Alchemist and Homer’s Odyssey: Theme Comparison


Fate is apparent in life and everyone has to work hard to realize it. The alchemist is a novel that has the story of a boy called Santiago who had a dream of going to the pyramids to look for treasures. His dream turned out to be true after he found his treasures. The Odyssey on the other hand is a poem that has the story of the hero Odysseus and his long journey back to Ithaca. The alchemist, however, has a number of themes that include the theme of following personal legend to the fullest. In this theme, Santiago is a boy who sold all his sheep and bought a ticket to Tanger so that he can take the pilgrimage. The boy faced many obstacles but he did not give up on finding his treasures. He worked hard to prove his faith and finally took his pilgrimage (Homer 52).

The theme of dream in the book alchemist is the one that leads Santiago to pursue his fate and it also sent him back. He dreamt of a boy showing him a treasure that was to be found at the foot of the pyramids. He followed the dream after he was implored by Melchizedek. A thief also had dreamt of treasure at the church that was abandoned and when he told Santiago about the dream, he went back to Spain where he found the treasure. The book has also the theme of love Santiago is seen looking forward to marrying the merchant’s daughter. He also meets another girl by the name of Fatuma who encouraged him in pursuing his destiny. They both loved each other and this is termed, true love.

The alchemist also has the theme of fate where one’s personal legends are obvious to one’s life. Santiago realizes that fate is a pleasant thing in his life. There is also the theme of unity in this book where there is the unity of human beings and the natural world. In the book, elements are seen to have legends where the metal has a personal legend of becoming gold and the writer helps it to become gold. The writer also helps Santiago to realize his fate (Paulo 104).

The Odyssey on the other hand has a theme that includes the theme of fate. This is where Odysseus had a fate of returning home and he worked hard on it until he achieved it. There is also the theme of hospitality where the Phaecians are seen to be hospitable to the hero Odysseus. They all welcomed him back and treated him very well. The theme of reconciliation is also in the book where the unity of the community of Ithaca is achieved through reconciliation. The family of Odysseus and his community had to reconcile with him hence togetherness.

In conclusion, a personal legend is obvious in one’s life and one should work hard and achieve it despite the obstacles he or she faces. The book alchemist has the story of a boy who had a dream of finding treasures which he finally found in the abandoned church. The book of Odyssey on the other side narrates Odysseus as a hero who had a long journey back to his land.

Fate versus Free will

Devine intervention and free will occur in a man’s life. Devine intervention is something that occurs in one’s life that he or she has no control over. In mythology, Devine intervention does not just happen but it is engineered by gods where they make things happen that could not have happened. Free will on the other is not made by anyone. This is where one has full control over his or her life without anyone engineering the happenings.

In the book of Odyssey, for example, Devine’s intervention is experienced when the man failed to take responsibility and god’s decided to do it. The gathering was meant to bring the community together in support of opposing the suitors but Odysseus decided to leave though he was supposed to stay. This shows that the god’s made him leave he was not supposed to. The gods also changed their destiny when they were going back home. This is when they were captured. Free will on the other hand is seen when people make their own choices that affect the result. In Odyssey, Odysseus is captured and is not allowed to leave for at least ten decades. This was their choice to capture him and retain him without release. Odysseus chose to go fight for his community showing that it was his free will.

In the book of the alchemist, Devine’s intervention is seen when Melchizedek states that at times one loses control over his life and becomes controlled by fate (Paulo 56). It is also seen when Santiago is caught by the tribal chief, he changed his make and demonstrated his power hence the release. Devine intervention is also seen when Santiago meets Fatuma in another country where he falls in love with making him forget about the merchant’s daughter.

In free will on the hand, Santiago decides to sell the entire flock of sheep so that he can buy a ticket to Tanger. He also makes the decision of following his dream despite the obstacles he faced.

In conclusion, Devine intervention and free will occur in man’s life where Devine intervention is where the gods engineer the happenings while free will is where an individual makes his own choices. Devine intervention and free will are seen in the two books.


Coelho, Paulo. The Alchemist. London: HarperCollins Publishers, 2006.

Murray, Homer. The Odyssey. Oxford: Plain Label Books, 2004.