The exposition of a story usually occurs in the first portion of the narrative and introduces the reader to the characters and setting. It also gives the reader an idea of the plot through an introduction to the central conflict. Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist" follows protagonist Santiago on his quest to find his "personal legend." Coelho defines personal legend in his introduction as the path chosen for each person on Earth.

Exposition of "The Alchemist"

In the first ten pages of "The Alchemist," the reader meets a young man named Santiago who works as a shepherd. In the opening scene, Santiago finds refuge in an abandoned church, where we learn he has few belongings -- a book and a jacket. Through Santiago's musings on his journey to reconnect with a girl he met the prior year, we learn that he is in the countryside in Spain and attended school because his family wanted him to be a priest. The opening pages also explain that Santiago's father did not agree with his decision to leave his hometown.