Becoming Yourself from the Short Story the Secret Lion

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English 102

14September2012

Becoming Yourself

Alberto Alvaro Ríos’ short story The Secret Lion, captures the spirit of a coming-of-age story between childhood and adolescence through the eyes of two boys, presumably from a lower-class Latino background. Through the use of various symbols, the theme of change is made apparent through the first-person, unnamed narrator. The use of this narrator is what shapes the story and the lessons learned within. Due to the author’s choice of careful character construction within the unnamed narrator, the reader faces a significant amount of emotions and reactions within a very brief, yet compelling short story.

The usage of the first-person point of view immediately presents the narrator to be a round character, due to the intimate opportunities the style of writing provides for fiction writing. Although we do not know the narrator’s name, due to the narrative style the audience can relate to the stories and experiences the character has. We know how the character feels internally quite often, which is iconic of the round fictional character. For example, we are provided internal insights that only a round character would allow the audience the opportunity to discover. For example, the character reveals how he felt “personally abandoned somehow” when describing junior high school (Ríos 201). We also discover a lot about the character’s personality through the actions and habits mentioned in the story. The following passage exemplifies a traits only a round character could have: “..what we would do down there was shout every dirty word we could think of, in every combination we could come up with, and we would yell about girls, and all the things we wanted to do with them.” (Ríos 201) This reveals that the narrator and his friend Sergio are going through a hormonal, rebellious stage where new sensations and impulses drive what pretty much most junior high student males’ experience. Since he is a round...
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