The Secret Lion by Alberto Alvaro Rios Review Essay

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Secret Lion is authored by Alberto Alvaro Rios. It is a short story that was published in 1984. The story is told from a school boy's vintage. It is an account of how the life of such a school boy changes from the point of joining Junior High. The story captures the expectations of the young boys coupled with how parents and teachers treat and see them. Their intellectual limitation and the expectation by others of how they should conduct themselves are expressed. The author has employed a number of literary devices to narrate the story. It is a story that revolves around two boys, i.e. the narrator and his friend named Sergio. We are made to view the world from the eyes of these two boys. We are made to feel, see and experience fear with them. We live and experience life with them through the narration. This paper seeks to explore The Secret Lion and the tools used to present it by the author.

Insights into "The Secret Lion"

The story starts off calmly and slowly, but soon begins to employ suspense. "I was twelve and in junior high school and something happened that we didn't have a name for, but it was there nonetheless like a lion..." Such an expression is certainly a well calculated use of suspense to start a literary piece. It makes the readers fix their eyes on the story if only to discover what that "something" could have been. The narrator goes on to throw in yet another similar statement, "Everything changed. Just like That..."

This literature provides both suggestive and hidden title. The Secret Lion has a symbolic significance. Such drawing is based on the number of experiences that the narrators were subjected to even as they made effort to conceal such experiences from their parents. For example, the boys first visit arroyo. Arroyo was cherished by the boys because it gave them freedom to pursue their desired activities uninterrupted. The narrator recounts that Arroyo made them have a chance to do what they wanted without anyone dictating anything to them (Rios 1). It is only unfortunate that they stop visiting their favorite location after a while because they simply get bored with it.

There is a similar change that is observed on the grinding ball because after safely hiding it from their mother, it disappears. Hiding the ball from their mother is inspired by the fact that their mother would ask them to "get rid of it" (Rios 1). The import of these acts is that children make decisions consciously and look up to their seniors to accept and approve them; which, unfortunately, does not usually happen. Therefore, children are forced to find alternatives. The boys tried as much as they could to keep their ball safe but somehow it vanished.

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The incident is symbolic and signifies the innocence that children try to treasure and keep but lose it all the same.

The reader is made to observe the behavior changes that occur in the boys prior to Arroyo. They are distancing themselves from the girls. Society is driving a wedge into the earlier established friendships that these youngsters had enjoyed and treasured. The boys now view the girls as the opposite sex; a perception that is distinctly different from the earlier one. They even have some form of attraction towards them. The boys have not found authentic ways to express their feelings to the girls so they device other ways to do it. In the arroyo, the boys are reported to shout loudly about the girls. They could do it here with no fear of retribution. The narrator reports that they could "...we would yell about girls and all the things we wanted to with them -- we didn't know what we wanted to do - --, just things..." (Rios 1). These changes are observable in real life in terms of the different socialization that they receive. Behavior change is possibly a function of biology. The boys are entering teenage life and changes in their bodies are beginning to show.

Moreover, the boys can differentiate between right and wrong. Such changes can be inferred from how they use obscenities in arroyo. They cannot ask for the meaning of certain words in class because they want to keep away from trouble. They are wiser now. The boys are aware of the possibility of being unruly at school and at home, so they find a channel to vent their pent-up energies in the arroyo. In the arroyo, they can overindulge without fear of anyone getting in their way or punishing them. The narrator says that it was the one place they knew they were not meant to go but they went any way. He describes it as having been their personal Mississippi and their friend from way back (Rios 1). The growth, in their level of understanding, made them avoid saying anything to their teachers so as to allow them experience on their own and quench their thirst.

The short story also portrays hopeful boys. Although they are not satisfied with the state of affairs and the world, they still seek a perfect world, a heaven which they seem to have found in the hills somewhere. Although their secret heaven is tacked away in the hills, they anticipate a crackdown sometime soon. Soon, the narrator and his….....

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Works Cited

"Coursework Writing Help: Secret Lion Symbol Analysis." Coursework Writing Help,

"Secret Lion - Symbolism Essay." Free Essays, Free Term Papers, Research Papers, Database of Cliff Notes, Book Reports for Free, College Papers, English Essays, Research Papers, ***.com/2408/secret-lion-symbolism.

Rios alvaro, Alberto. the secret lion. 1984.

"Understanding "The Secret Lion"." Youtube,

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