Study Guide

The Alchemist Themes

By Paulo Coelho

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Language and Communication



Fate and Free Will


Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

Humanity and the Natural World

Wisdom and Knowledge


The Alchemist explores many interesting subjects, although themes for The Alchemist that stand out include free will vs. fate, love, wisdom, pursuit of one’s dreams, and the interconnection of the natural world.

Central Themes for The Alchemist

Throughout The Alchemist, Santiago is pursuing his personal legend which takes him on a quest of experiential learning, vulnerability, fear, and eventually spiritual enlightenment.

The book also explores the concept of free will vs. fate. Santiago quickly learns that although he is free to choose his own path in life (free will) there will be circumstances where destiny or fate take over. When you consider this, The Alchemist’s themes of fate and free will are very much at odds with each other.

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