The Loss of Innocence in Alberto Alvaro Rios’ “The Secret Lion”

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In “The Secret Lion,” Alberto Alvaro Rios establishes the theme as loss of innocence in a young boy. The narrator brings to life a boy who must leave behind his youthful perceptions about girls, the arroyo, and his green haven. All preconceptions are shattered, and each glimpse of bliss is taken away. Through this the boy gains perspective, and begins to see the world with a new awareness. Rios ingrains the loss of innocence theme through the eyes of a twelve-year-old boy who exhibits maturity, autonomy, and disillusionment. Initially, Rios illustrates a young boy perplexed by a new-found maturity. As the maturation from childhood to adolescence begins, he is facing unfamiliar feelings about the opposite sex. An example of this is …show more content…
While traveling to the arroyo, his own “personal Mississippi,” the boy learns he has control over his own actions (453-454). His mother cannot stifle him, and “tell us we couldn’t” go (454). Now understanding that mother does not know and see all, he feels free to make his own choices. A subsequent example of his autonomy is characterized when he begins his quest into the hills. Not believing his mother that the hills hold no adventure, he is certain she “was keeping something from us” (456). Adept at handling all that nature has to offer, he journey’s further up the hill because his “mother could still see us” (456). This lack of trust and the independence that comes from not being under his mother’s watchful eye fuels his budding autonomy. The boy’s innocence further dwindles as he rebels, and gains independence from his mother. (199) At last, Rios reveals the loss of innocence through the character’s disillusionment. Now plagued by the multitude of teachers and being lost in the shuffle, he feels “personally abandoned” (Rios 453). School seemingly the same, is different because the individual care of having a single teacher is lost. Seeking shelter at the arroyo, he finds a grinding ball which he describes as “perfect” (454). Destined to hold onto this object he buries it beneath the sand, only to find a few days later it is gone, “like everything else that had

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