Alex Cannon
Alex Cannon asked:

My favorite part was the prelogue, but what do you think it has to do with the rest of the book? Y'know the one about Narcissus and the lake. Sparknotes offers an analysis but I don't really like it: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/the-alchemist/section1.rhtml

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Regan J That's a pretty interesting question. I completely agree with you about the Sparknotes summary by the way; I think it missed the point of prologue altogether. Having said that, I believe there are many ways to interpret the significance of the Greek myth of Narcissus in this novel.
My personal view is this:
The conversation between the lake and the goddess is reminiscent of the conversation between the desert, the wind, the sun and Santiago. The only difference between the two conversations is the subject: What is beauty vs. What is love?
"Each time he knelt beside my banks, I saw my own beauty reflected" this could symbolize how, when Santiago looked into what he called "The Soul of the World", he saw himself reflected, or it could represent how God's soul and the Universal Language is present in everyone.
I also love this story and I think Coelho made a great choice opening the book by retelling this myth in a different light.
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by Paulo Coelho (Goodreads Author)
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