Monday, September 17, 2012

Senior English--The Alchemist Discussion #1 Notes

The Alchemist—up to pg. 65

Discussion Notes from Block 1
  • Symbolism?
  • Melchizedek—hmm…—a Biblical allusion?—meaning?
  • A note about allusions:  Allusions require background knowledge in order to understand.  As a general rule, you should look up any “look up-ables” while reading (e.g., Melchizedek)
  • Santiago as “the boy”—hmm...—emphasis  on “youth”?—will it shift to “man” by the end?
  • Any intertextuality?
  • Omens are signs from “somewhere” indicating good or bad on the horizon
  • Urim and thummim?
  • Who is the alchemist?—alchemy as a metaphor for the theme of the story?  What is an alchemist?—an “old school” chemist…—goal: turn base metal into gold
  • Oil and the spoon anecdote—avoid “tunnel vision”
  • Prologue—significance?