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The Secret Lion and the Yellow Wallpaper by Rios and Gilman - Compare and Contrast Essay

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Vanderbilt University
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Rios The Secret Lion and Gilmans The Yellow Wallpaper are two texts that contrast and compare each other in the form of thematic concerns, narrative perspective, writing style, characters, and characterization.

In characterization, there is a major contrast.Rios uses children as his major characters to create an informative story line. Childrens emotions, fantasies, nostalgia, and the ability to appreciate the immediate environment is well relayed in the short story. The protagonist who is an I in the short story and his friend Sergio vividly is used by Rios to express changes in life (Gortner, The Secret Lion). These two boys have just joined junior high and are met with drastic change. Loss of innocence is witnessed, as boys would go to their arroyo a forbidden river and shout things uncontrollably. The boys noted the girls they played within their childhood were different. They dared not to address sandy their neighbor in school for there were strange words in junior school (Gortner, The Secret Lion). These words upon reporting to teachers one would get in trouble. The boys chose to be quiet for they were not fools.

In The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman, the main characters are a couple. The couple is portrayed to succumb to the shortcomings of marriage life. The narrator who is a wife suffers from temporary nervous depression. Her husband, a doctor, recommends renting a secluded estate for the summer. She is ordered to rest by her husband (Gilman, Perkins, and Jean. "The Yellow Wall-Paper"). The narrator, on the other hand, feels vague about the idea but obeys him when he chooses a large room on the top floor instead of the room on the ground floor which she prefers. The narrator goes ahead and says that she pretty much obeys her husband when it comes to everything. The narrator would like to spend time writing, but her family thinks that it is a terrible idea. The narrator is living in a house feeling uncomfortable and forbidden to carry out her favorite activity. She becomes obsessed with the yellow wallpaper and soon becomes convinced that there is a woman trapped within the paper (Jean 396). She removes the wallpaper to set free the woman. When the husband is back, the narrator declares to be free. John faints upon seeing the wife peeling the paper off. The wife pays no attention.

The two fictitious stories are similar to the thematic concerns. In Rios The Secret Lion the theme of loss of innocence in a young boy. In Gilmans The Yellow Wallpaper the theme of subordination of women in marriage has achieved the same goal. Both themes are relevant in our immediate society (Jean 396). They communicate concerns that take place in our daily life. Both stories educate people how to overcome these challenges. In our growth, we should accept change and be dynamic. In our marriage life, expressing oneself and effective dialogue is the key to all shortcomings faced by spouses (Gilman, Perkins, and Jean. "The Yellow Wall-Paper"). Fictitious works of literature should be informative, educative, and entertaining. Both texts have achieved this purpose

In thematic concerns, there is a major contrast. In Rios The Secret Lion. The main theme is a loss of innocence in a young boy. Rios captures that change is imminent and how a childs innocence cannot be spared (Gortner, The Secret Lion). The transformation from elementary to middle school, the arroyo, the grinding ball, the golf course and the lion represents symbolic objects vital to the understanding of the stories theme. The symbol The Secret Lion is the transformation from elementary to middle school (Gortner, The Secret Lion). The author is sexually attracted to girls, talking to them makes him nervous. The arroyo symbolizes the previous childhood lifestyle. There are no worries and punishment in the arroyo. The grinding ball symbolizes a precious thing; they bury it not to be taken like their childhood was. The golf course symbolized a heaven, but everything came crashing down. They later learned that they should embrace change and be strong. Through symbolism, loss of innocence is greatly revealed.

In Gilmans The Yellow Wallpaper the theme of subordination of women in marriage and the importance of self-expression is revealed in the text. The text can be said to be composed in an ideal patriarchal community. This is where women are alleged to be inferior while men are viewed to be the superior sex. In the story, John dictates everything to the wife who follows it to the letter like a little kid without questioning (Jean 396). The family members think writing activity as a bad idea. She was supposed to rest because of her health condition. Interestingly, the mental constraints placed on the narrator drives her insane in the name of preserving the facade of a happy marriage. The husband faints shocked to see the wifes sanity is beyond repair.

Conclusively, the two stories are equally essential for them to achieve the purpose of the literary text. Their similarities and differences are by the creation of a fictitious story. The use of different characters, styles and thematic concerns enables writers to craft their works. This fulfills the goal to educate and reach the targeted audience

Work cited

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, and Shawn St. Jean. "The Yellow Wall-Paper" By Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2006. Print.

Gortner, C. W. The Secret Lion. San Francisco, CA: Two Bridges Press, 2006. Print.

Jean, Shawn St. "Hanging "The Yellow Wall-Paper": Feminism And Textual Studies." Feminist Studies 28.2 (2002): 396. Web.

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