The novel begins with a foreword, in which the author warns that the novel itself is fictional and has a symbolic meaning. Further, he reports that he himself was engaged in alchemy for a long time, but his search came to a standstill until he met one person who explained to him in what direction to move and what he was doing wrong. Ends with the preface of the parable.
In the prologue the alchemist reads Oscar Wilde’s book about narcissus and finds it remarkable.
The young man, the main character, was called Santiago. He grazed the sheep and drove them to spend the night in a dilapidated church. He also slept, spreading his jacket on the floor. He dreamed the second time the same dream, which he again did not finish until the end. He began to wake up the sheep with whom
Entering the nearest town, Santiago went to the old woman, who knew how to interpret dreams, and told her his dream. He dreamed that the child approached him in the pasture and moved to the Egyptian pyramids. Here you will find a treasure, said the child. The old woman undertook to explain the dream for a tenth of the treasure found in the future, and said that we must go to Egypt, to the pyramids. Santiago was annoyed because he heard nothing new. Coming out of the old woman, he went to the square, where he sat down on a bench and began reading a book he had recently exchanged for another. He left the sheep at a friend at the entrance to the city. The book seemed boring to him, but he was distracted by an old man who sat next to him. He tried hard to talk to Santiago. Finally, they got to talking, the old man introduced himself as
In the epilogue it is narrated that Santiago returned to Spain and found under the arches of the destroyed church, the one in which he had a dream, a full treasure chest. He thought about the alchemist, the gypsy woman who was supposed to have a tenth of the treasure found, and the girl who was waiting for him in the desert, about Fatima. He was happy and ready to go to Fatima.