The Influences and Impacts of Settings on Characters and Readers

1445 Words Nov 16th, 2008 6 Pages
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
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The second setting gets more interesting.
The second setting to Rios’ story has another interesting influence and impact on the characters and the reader. Unexpectedly, Rios rewinds the story with a flashback to an earlier time, which was when he and Sergio were five years old. Unlike the first setting, Rios’ imagination turns from mature, to child-like. For example, complex words such as “arroyo” become simpler and elementary such as “mountain” (172). The characters make an adventurous journey to these “mountains” and tell their parents “they will be going away for three days” (172). Of course, a parent just nods and says “OK whatever” in a sarcastic tone of voice, and the same goes for a reader. Everyone in their childhood went on an imaginary “escape,” right? This demonstrates Sergio and Rios’ precious way of thinking, which is not as realistic compared to when they were pre-teens, just like the readers who acted like this in very early childhood as well. When they reach their destination, they describe it as “Perfect. Heaven was green, like nothing else in Arizona…everything was so green, so emerald” (173). This “Heaven” of theirs was paradise on Earth. They have all the fun while it lasted, as if it was a beach. “I found this particular hole and I put my Coke right into it, a perfect fit, and I called it my Coke-holder” (173).
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