Santiago arrives at the abandoned church in his native Andalusia, to which he was able to return with the gold that the alchemist left him at the desert monastery. Digging in the sacristy beneath the sycamore tree, Santiago uncovers a chest of gold coins, precious gems, golden, feathered masks, and stone statues. “It’s true,” he thinks, “life really is generous to those who pursue their Personal Legend . . .”
Like so many stories of seekers and their quests (think not only of the Odyssey, but The Wizard of Oz), The Alchemist ends where it began. Santiago’s treasure was literally under his nose, but he had to travel across a continent to find it. Surely this is central to Coelho’s vision, and to this novel’s theme.