April 9, 2014
Loss in the Secret Lion
How many people today have lost something they valued? Loss is an occurrence that we will all experience at a certain stage of our lifetime, as it is inevitable. It tends to cause sorrow and depression rather than happiness. Once experienced, one must conquer this loss and advance in life. Whether it’s a loss of great or little magnitude, moving on depends on how the particular individual handles the situation. We are all diverse and react through different mediums. In the story The Secret Lion, the author, Alberto Alvaro Rios uses symbolism to show how the twelve- year old boy- the protagonist and his friend Sergio learn how to accept loss.
The first and most evident symbol mentioned by the author in the story is the secret lion. It’s not a real lion. The secret lion represents things that are important and the secret parts of those things are unexplained. The secret lion is a symbol of the process of growing up and understanding that changes come with losses. The narrator states that when he was twelve, “something happened that we didn’t have a name for, but it was there nonetheless like a lion, and roaring, roaring that way the biggest things do.”(Rios 401). Here in the story, we read about the two boys’ transformation from elementary school to middle school; the narrator’s first encounter with change and his inability to fathom what was happening around in his environment. For example, he discovered that he and Sergio had difficulties communicating with girls the same way they could in elementary school. The boys had reached a point where they found females sexually attractive. This made them feel nervous while they spoke to girls and resulted in them avoiding communication. The narrator states that “And we saw girls now, but they weren’t the same girls we use to know because we couldn’t talk to them anymore, not the same way we used to.” (Rios 401).
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