Fate is “the will or principle or determining cause by which things… are believed to come to be as they are or events to happen as they do” (Merriam-Webster.com). Fate is a prevalent theme throughout the novel The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. Fate helped Santiago on the journey to self-discovery and the fulfillment of his dreams. From the very beginning, there were many signs pointing him towards pursuing his fate. For instance, in the beginning of the novel, Santiago has the dream of the pyramid and his adventure to come. Fate additionally appeared through the Alchemist’s predictions for Santiago about his journey and the omens he encounters in route. Another case of fate is when Santiago is in the desert and the Alchemist instructs him to do what he he needs since he will in the long run achieve his objective regardless of whether he chooses to return to be with Fatima. His fate will find him no matter where he goes or what he does.
Although many people believe that it is fate that determines whether one fulfills his or her personal legend, others believe that all men and women have free will. In their reading of The Alchemist, they say that Santiago never did anything he didn’t want to do. They say fate was just an excuse that made him brave enough to travel the world when he afraid to leave home. They argue that the treasure he was seeking was in his own backyard all along and that he would’ve unearthed it eventually. However, there is no reason to believe that he ever would have thought to look under the tree if not for the guiding light of fate and the lessons he learned along his greater, fateful journey. Some people believe that there is no plan or destiny for life or mankind. They believe personal choice determines the future, and anyone who thinks otherwise is simply superstitious.
I believe that fate plays a role in all our lives and our legends. There are times when people or experiences come into your life at an impossibly perfect moment. For example, when I was a senior, I was forced to take a Law Studies class simply because it was the only elective that fit into my schedule. Once in the class, I discovered an instant, startling passion for it. I found my calling when I wasn’t looking for it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, only what I didn’t want. Suddenly, this blind coincidence, that people call fate, determined my future for me. There are numerous examples throughout history of small, sharp twists of fate determining things with as far-reaching consequences as our lives today. Alexander The Great was on track to conquer the whole world, but when he was only thirty-two years old, he was poisoned and the whole empire fell apart in an instant. That was his fate. He wasn’t meant to conquer the world. If he had succeeded, we might be living in a vastly different world today. Without fate, the world would be a whirlpool of chaos. If one thinks about the complexity of the modern world, it is inconceivable that it just accidentally fell into place in such perfect, orderly form. Fate may not be visible to everyone, but there is an invisible hand or a small voice in our heads that guide us.