The Alchemist (Coelho)

What does Santiago reflect upon in regard to the sheep?


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Santiago observes that, although content, they (the sheep) are only concerned with eating and sleeping. They do not contemplate life, a higher purpose or spiritual matters. Santiago wonders if this is also the case with most people. He wonders if he is content to simply eat and sleep through life without any sort of deeper understanding or meaning. This is actually an age old question. In Hamlet Act 4, Hamlet asks the same question, "What is a man, If his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed?" Santiago's observation is, in part, the catalyst for his adventure to the pyramids and his search for treasure. This quest becomes his self-awakening and enlightenment.