The Authenticity of The Alchemist: A Genealogical Reading on Human Subject Departed from Nietzschean Existentialism
Dedy Saputro Wibowo
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This thesis discusses the genealogy of human subject in The Alchemist departed from Nietzsche’s thought. Moral philosophical approach is used because this novel contains philosophical values to explore an authentic subject - this is the main case in philosophy of existentialism. An ideal subject is described as the one who is able to choose his own position in the world, so the key word in existentialism is “becoming”. The subject transforms himself into the best. Nietzsche is chosen because he is considered to give immense influences on western philosophical tradition, especially existentialism. It is guided by four problem formulations. How Nietzschean existentialism contributes in appearing existentialist idea in The Alchemist? This question will emerge other question about What The Alchemist’s existentialism is transcending Nietzschean existentialism, particularly in authenticity concept. If there any kind of new existentialism concept transcending Nietzschean concept, what kind of particular concept is conveyed by this novel. On the analysis of The Alchemist, it is found the authentic subject portrayed by character of Santiago undergoes a profound change in his life. From the first time, he is the student in seminary that finally finds nothing. Then, he becomes the shepherd and the last, the wanderer as well as Nietzschean metamorphoses. He tries to find the treasure. It is the metaphor for the most valuable thing in the world; the effort of finding authentic self. There are also some characteristics that make this novel rather different from the general issue in existentialism. Therefore, the comparison between other existentialist works and post-Nietzschean philosophers are conducted in order to give a distinctive feature of an authentic subject in The Alchemist. It is called as genealogical reading; a method of analysis to trace the scheme of knowledge diachronically and synchronically. This analysis will find the authentic subject that can be learnt not only from pure philosophy or psychology, but from literary work also.