Lion in the Streets explores the depths of the soul and forces the audience to face many conflicting and unpleasant realities, including those within themselves.
Judith Thompson uses Isobel to make connections with each person's own physical or more spiritual pain. As a child, she represents innocence and as a Portuguese immigrant, life is so much harder even to begin with. There is the sense that immigrants - such as they represent a minority are persecuted and many of the characters in Lion in the Streets are persecuted, even if it is there own personal hell; they are all victims of something. Even Ben, Isobel's murderer, is revealed as a victim. The harsh reality is then unfortunately that these victims repeat the cycle of abuse becoming perpetrators themselves and making other innocents suffer.
Immigrants often suffer the wrath of communities which have been known to exclude "outsiders" unfairly. Therefore, using an immigrant child intensifies the pain, the hurt and the unfairness of the repeating cycle of violence.