The Alchemist is a novel by Paulo Coelho that was first published in 1988. The novel is rich with allusions to biblical parables, multiple systems of faith, and elements of myth that hint at its theme, an exploration of the necessity of pursuing one’s “Personal Legend,” the ultimate goal or joy in life. Read key facts, the plot summary, and important quotes. Read key facts, the plot summary, and important quotes.


Read one-minute Sparklet summaries, the detailed section-by-section Summary & Analysis, the Full Book Summary. or the Full Book Analysis of The Alchemist.


See a complete list of the characters in The Alchemist and in-depth analyses of Santiago, The Alchemist, The Crystal Merchant, Melchizedek, The Englishman, and Fatima.

Literary Devices

Here's where you will find analysis of the key literary devices in The Alchemist.


Find the quotes you need to support your essay, or refresh your memory of The Alchemist by reading these key quotes.


Learn more about The Alchemist by reading these mini-essays and suggested essay topics.

Further Study

Go further in your study of The Alchemist with background information about Paulo Coelho and the novel's publication, as well as suggestions for further reading.