The four obstacles

The AlchemistI just finished reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (in English, not the original Portuguese). I had a hard time getting into its style, which some people compare to that of Saint-ExupĂ©ry’s The Little Prince, but I think the big difference is… about 180 pages. You can get away with being crisp (in terms of sentence structure and character development) and overtly allegorical in a short work, but in a novel, it gets kind of weird. At least, it did for me.

That being said, I definitely appreciate the morals that Coelho presents. Particularly as a young, struggling writer, I found a lot to take away. Basically, Coelho says that following one’s dreams is a person’s only obligation in life, and that doing so contributes to the happiness and positivity of the world. However, not everyone has the courage to try. Why? Because of the four obstacles.

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