The Alchemist (Coelho)

How do Santiago and the Englishman differ in how they regard alchemy?

They discuss it in the desert.

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The Englishman is much more educated in the secrets of alchemy than Santiago. The alchemist, though, shows that the intuitive method of Santiago is preferable to the intellectual pursuit of the Englishman. Santiago has been trying to learn about the universe by diving into it, experiencing it, seeing, hearing, and tasting it - not just reading about it.