|Book Club Discussion #2 (images from the Graphic Novel)|
Post meeting notes:
- Is the boy like all of us? By calling him only “the boy” during the book it allows for a more relatable protagonist. But is Santiago more willing to seek and go with change than the average person? Are you more like the crystal shop owner or like the boy?
Leaving the Crystal Shop
Reading Question #1 – Crystal Shop
How was the boy able to change a shop that had remained the same for many years? ¨What does the boy learn while he works in the shop? ¨ ¨How is the boy different from the shop’s owner?
Dream realized vs. Dreaming
“I’m afraid that if my dream is realized, I’ll have no reason to go on living…you’re different from me, because you want to realize your dreams. I just want to dream…I’m afraid that it would all be a disappointment, so I prefer to just dream about it.” said the shop owner to the boy (p57)
Blessing Ignored Becomes A Curse
“I don’t want to change anything, because I don’t know how to deal with change. I’m used to the way I am…I understand something I did not see before; every blessing ignored becomes a curse…you are forcing me to look at … horizons I have never known.
Now that I have seen them, and now that I see how immense my possibilities are, I’m going to feel worse than I did before you arrived. Because I know things I should be able to accomplish, and don’t want to do so.” says the shop owner to the boy (p60)
Reading Question #2 – Alchemy
¨What does the boy learn about Alchemy in the first section of Part 2?
[alchemists] “discovered that the purification of the metals had led to a purification of themselves…The boy was becoming more and more convinced that alchemy could be learned in one’s daily life.” (p84)
Purified of metals “would be the Soul of the World… called that discovery the Master Work – it was part liquid and part solid…Elixir of the Life, ad that is cure all illnesses, it also kept the alchemist from growing old…and… the Philosophers Stone…” (p83)
Did you see a river metaphor theme?
Sometimes, there’s just no way to hold back the river. (p61)
“…making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed up when he first made the decision.” (p70)
“intuition is really the sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected. (p76)
Reading Question #3 – Caravan
¨Is the desert caravan as another form of the “river current”?
“No matter how many detours and adjustments it made, the caravan moved toward the same compass point.” (p77)
“Once you get into the dessert, there’s no going back… when you can’t go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward.” (p80)
“mysterious chain that links one thing to another, the same chain that had, caused him to become a shepherd, caused his recurring dream, brought him to the city near Africa, to find a King, and to be robbed in order to the meet the crystal merchant, and…(p75)
- Pausing for study
- Journey / River Current
Times of pausing in one place to study before the next change of moving forward to journey
- Seminary – before the book picked up the story of his life as a shepherd
- Crystal Shop – studying about crystal, improving sales, learning to speak Arabic
- Desert – “I’d better read your books” said the boy to the Englishman – Santiago studied about alchemy why moving with the caravan.
Section of journey in the river current
- Transition from shepherding to beginning traveling toward treasure in Egypt
- Caravan through the desert (mix of journey and pause for study)
Chain of Teachers
- His father
- King M.
- Crystal Merchant
Just as he had conquered this place, he could conquer the world. (p64)
Maybe God created that desert so that man could appreciate the date trees. (p89)
It’s only those who are persistent, and willing to study things deeply, who achieve the Master Work. (p85)