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The Alchemist Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Alchemist.
This section contains 791 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Alchemist Study Guide

Themes

Appearances and Reality

What the victims of the three swindlers perceive as reality is not the truth of the play. Each one thinks that he will receive wealth or power as a reward gained through little effort. The reality is that each will be left with less wealth and no more power than they had initially.

Change and Transformation

The theme of transformation is crucial to this play. The plot revolves around the chance and expectation that Subtle can change base metals into gold. A belief m alchemy was still firmly held at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Queen Elizabeth investigated the possibility of using alchemy to increase her worth and even Sir Isaac Newton believed in the principle. In The Alchemist, alchemy is the basis for a con game, a means to swindle unsuspecting victims. The only transformation that occurs is a lightening of their purses.

Deception

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This section contains 791 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Alchemist Study Guide
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The Alchemist from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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