The Influences and Impacts of Settings on Characters and Readers

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Setting is an important idea to seriously consider developing when writing a short story. Alberto Alvaro Rios, an award-winning author and mastermind behind the short story “The Secret Lion,” utilizes his brilliant writing style to carefully devise an intricate double-setting that is simple, effective, and innocent. It reminds the reader how precious life is. The setting influences and impacts not only the main character, but the reader as well, who can also relate back to the story being told. Developed settings help the reader soak in all the details and understand the underlying themes to a short story. “The Secret Lion” breaks down into two “mini-plots” with different settings where the actions of the characters are similar to the reader. The story is told in an adult-like, first person point-of-view with the narrator being referred to as “I” (let us assume Rios is the narrator and second character of the story). In the first half of the story, Rios first introduces that “he was twelve and in junior high school” (170) and the second paragraph states “my friend Sergio and I…would go across the highway to the arroyo. It was the one place we were not supposed to go” (170). To Sergio and Rios, this is nothing more than a playful adventure to escape from reality. In fact, this dried riverbed is a retreat to them. The reader can directly relate to the characters because everyone has had some “getaway” or “secret spot” in their pre-teen years. When the two friends stumble upon a grinding ball, the diction is child-like and filled with excitement and joy: “Guythisis, this is, geeGuythis…we had this perception about nature then, that nature is imperfect and that round things are perfect” (171). To Sergio and Rios, something so simple such as a round object, symbolizes their innocence and childhood. To the reader, this object symbolizes childhood can be something sentimental such as a special teddy bear. Personally, my own teddy bear symbolizes the epitome of my...
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