30 October 2018
In The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Santiago is met with obstacles while on a search for
his Personal Legend. The king of Salem he meets before his journey introduces the ‘universal
language’ to him, a concept that he begins to understand more and more throughout the story.
The exact identity of the universal language Santiago seeks is perhaps found right in the title of
his story; alchemy. Alchemy, Chemistry, science, and all of the studies beneath it is the universal
language of Santiago’s world because no only will the biology in him enable him to judge others,
but physics will help him understand his surroundings movements while chemistry will help him
interpret omens as reactions as he continues his journey and meets new people.
Biology is essential to Santiago’s understanding of the universal language as it is the
makeup of any living being. The biology of plants and animals is the connection of
communication, allowing for verbal and nonverbal signals to be sent to each other. In The
Alchemist, the Englishman says, “that this is not just a human gift, that everything on the the face
of the earth has a soulmate whether mineral, vegetable, or animal—or even just a simple
thought” (Coelho 79) This is a significant saying referring biology, stating are not the only things
that have a inner will. Anything that has a properly functioning body or system is able to make
decisions according to urges dictated by their controlling forces (brains, a cells mitochondria).
This then thus leads to body language and posturing, which enacts the control centers will to
send out a message non verbally. Neurological messages also allow living things to detect
emotions such as when a dog can feel its owners distress. This kind of communication is
important to Santiago because he needs to understand the behaviors of others in order for him to
adapt to them. When he becomes aware of their behaviors, he becomes aware that there is a core
in every animal, a soul and center that separates them from just existing. They all have a
Personal Legend, too.
Physics bring even deeper meaning into ‘unspoken language’ through its studies of
matter as it travels through time and space. “The caravan and the desert speak the same language,
and its for that reason that the desert allows the crossing” (Coelho 79) is an observation of
physics because in context, the drivers of the caravan understand the ‘language’ of the desert
because of the years of knowledge they gathered while traveling through the desert. By
analyzing this knowledge, the drivers then respond to the desert by wearing protective...