Dream in Disguise: A Marxist Analysis of Presentation of Dream in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist
Keywords:American Dream, Rugged individualism, Capitalist ideology, Santiago’s quest, Marxist point of view, Dream metaphor
This study investigates Paulo Coelho’s highly popular novel, The Alchemist (1988), in its English translation. Coelho’s The Alchemist has positively influenced millions of its readers worldwide as it inspires them to pursue their dreams or their “personal legends” in their lives without being afraid of failure. Santiago’s quest for his dream becomes a motivation for the readers to face challenges in their road to success in life. Coelho himself advocates for being aware of our “personal calling” which he says is “God’s blessing” or, “our own dream”. The current research questions the presentation of this dream by the author in this novel as it does not seem to be a simple dream. The dream is regarded as a metaphor not only by the author himself, but also by many critics who interpret this dream from a positivistic outlook to life. In this research, I would argue that this dream has its other metaphorical connotations too due to its way of presentation. Santiago’s dream and its pursuit highly resemble the pursuit of American Dream, a capitalist ideology. Santiago’s quest for his dream and the hidden treasure which he finds in the end has been argued as promotion of “rugged individualism” in this study. Thus, the paper, from a Marxist point of view, decodes the dream metaphor in The Alchemist, and tries to understand the operation of other capitalist ideologies in it.
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