Analytical Appraisal in the Contemporary Fictions `The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez` and `City of the Mind`

AnalyticalAppraisal in the Contemporary Fictions ‘The Miraculous Day ofAmalia Gomez’ and ‘City of the Mind’

Everybook, whether academically inspired or otherwise, contains a deepermeaning than what is just reflected on the surface. Every writer hassomething going on behind his mind anytime he or she decides to putdown their thoughts in writing. All it needs is the reader to voyagewith them so as to find out the exact meaning behind these writers’work. The hidden meaning of any novel is what makes it captivatingto the reader to keep reading the novel. The main objective of thispaper is to look at two different novels from two distinct novelistsin a comparative as well as an interpretive manner. The paper aims atgoing to the deepest part of the writers’ mind to excruciate anddig out the hidden meaning behind these two novels. From the title,the novels that are being discussed here are ‘The Miraculous Day ofGomez’ and ‘City of the Mind’. The stories in these two novelsare based on fiction, thus making them more interesting. The hiddenmeaning in these two fictions is somewhat comparative as well asdifferent thus making it so captivating.

Tokick off, ‘The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez’ is a novel writtenby John Rechy. The story revolves around a very attractive, thoughignorant woman of the origin of Mexican-American. Her name is AmeliaGomez. Amalia is a woman who has estranged relationship with herkids. On the other hand, ‘City of the Mind’ is a fictionrevolving around one man called Mathew Halland. Mathew lives in thecity of London. He is an architect and has a daughter named Jane.Despite his divorce, Mathew seems to have a cordial relationship withhis daughter, Jane. Jane is depicted to be the person who gives herfather a new hope in life hence having a new perspective not only onlove and loss but also on the city of London (Lively 5-10). Rutterwas a real estate developer that had circle of people that were socorrupt. Sarah was a like a glimmer of hope and romance that enteredin Mathew’s life. Mathew Halland becomes so optimistic and takes onnew dimensions that help him change his life for better. This is onehidden meaning that is so captivating.

Tocritically analyze these two fictions, one needs to understand theirthemes and plot as well.These two fictions have a hidden meaning thatmakes one be more captivated in reading them. In the first fiction,Amalia Gomez is used by the writer to portray a great sense ofignorance that underlies in many people. She is so deeply rooted inher world of ignorance that she thinks an omen from God can magicallyor miraculously end all her life predicaments. The manner in whichshe takes this omen displays her ignorance at the highest level. Oneof her children is seen to ask Amalia, “Do you ever face anything?”This statement alone shows how ignorant Amalia is and the peoplearound her have noticed that she is not brave enough to tackle lifeas she is supposed to. Contrary to Mathew, who takes life on with noany form of fear. Mathew is courageous and brave. Amalia is so scaredor foolish that she never faces anything in her life. Primarily, thewriter of this novel is an enthusiastic activist who wants to tellwomen that they can as well be brave and face life’s changes withvigor and no fear whatsoever.

Sofar, Amalia Gomez has divorced twice and she is recently living witha man who is not even her legal husband. Having been abused sexuallyby her first husband of whom she was forced to marry, Amalia’s lifeis a series of endless misfortunes that make her life almostunbearable. The writer is displaying just how deeply rooted ignoranceis in some societies. Further, another deeper meaning for this is theway some cultures understates women in the society. She remembers herfather as an alcoholic and irresponsible fellow. Contemporarily, sheis bringing up two children on her own. Her eldest son, Manuel hadbeen jailed and eventually killed in prison. Her two children, whoare both teenagers, seem not to be making anything easier for Amalia.If anything, whatever these children are doing is to add ontoAmalia’s predicaments. This is so contrary with Mathew’s story in‘City of the Mind’ where his daughter Sarah is so supportive andloving. The neighborhood that Amalia raises her two children is sowanting in terms of morals and ethical values. This seems to havebeen a major contributing factor to Amalia’s children moral decay.Amalia Gomez’s so called ‘miraculous day’ occurs one morningwhen she wakes up and has a thought that life can actually be bettersomewhere else than where she is. She stares at the sky through thewindow of her very poor house and she feels a premonition or a signfrom God, which is a silver omen in the shape of a cross. She doubtsif it really happens and if it’s truly an omen, how is she evensupposed to interpret it? The phantom seems to have a huge toll onAmalia that she has doubts about it because of her status. She doubtsif God can show her an omen when she is divorced twice, raising twoteenagers who are very rebellious and living with a man who isn’teven her husband. Amalia Gomez sinks in deep thoughts about God inher heart and she starts contemplating on if to believe the omen ornot. The writer takes the reader through the past life of AmaliaGomez and eventually comes to her miraculous day, which brings us toour critical analysis in this the contemporary fiction.

Theauthor as well demonstrates poverty and injustice in this novel. Thisis another deeper meaning conveyed in this fiction. He starts off bytaking his readers back in Amalia’s life. Her life was so hardstricken by harsh poverty that Amalia had men by her side not becauseshe loves them but because they helped in paying the rent and taxes.There is a very disturbing truth that Amalia Gomez does not doanything to get her out of her poverty. She whines and cries about itbut that alone is not can’t get her out of it. She is sobadly-equipped to deal with her contemporary life and get out of it.This is a show of our modern society as well. The author of thisnovel has depicted what goes in the modern society. This is differentfrom the novel of ‘City of the Mind’. Mathew is poor yes, but heworks his way out of his poverty and becomes a very rich person.People live in abject poverty and they seem not to do anything thatwill do something to pull themselves out of this dunch.

Theissue of injustice comes in when Amalia Gomez is so misused by men.The link between this novel and that of ‘City of the Mind’ isdepicted when Mathew is seen to be misused by his real estatepartner, Rutter. Even though Amalia Gomez is said to be having astriking beauty, men get attracted to her not because of anythinggood but to just sleep with her. After using her, they then abandonher to face the world alone. Her beauty seems to be attracting menwho use her and move on. “I can’t afford a child.” Gabriel,Amalia second husband confesses after he found out that she ispregnant. He leaves her but she still follows him to California. Sheopts to follow him but he impregnates her again and leaves her in aforeign land to take care of a child and a pregnancy. This is veryunfair for Amalia. Her son Manuel is as well killed in prison underunknown circumstances. The author says, “…he was there forfighting, stealing. Even the exact charges Amalia could notremember.”Life had not treated Amalia in any just manner. This canbe depicted in the contemporary world by the injustices that manypoor people go through.

Thispiece of writing is a fervently feminist one. The writer has evokedthe world of shabby neighborhood by telling and showing various formsthat poor people go through. The ferocity of the poor people has beendepicted in this novel by showing an elderly woman groveling up thechurch’s stairs. In the second fiction, ‘City of the Mind’, thewriter uses Mathew to demonstrate the vitality and the zeal that onemust have to thrive in life. Even after a divorce and a number ofmisfortunes, Mathew refuses to give up in life and faces everythingthat comes his way, including his new friend Rutter, who is verycorrupt. The conspicuous theme in this piece of writing is hope. Thecity that is talked about in this story is London. Despite what hehas gone through, Mathew beats all odds and fights for his happinessthrough a ray of hope that he finds in his daughter Jane. Hope iswhat keeps us going when everything else seems so bleak. Mathewunderstands this better and does not allow anything to bring hisspirit down not even the city itself. The author is talking abouthow powerful the mind is in this piece of writing.

Inconclusion, these two fiction tales have more than what thecontemporary world can learn from them. The hidden meaning in them isso educative to all kinds of people. For instance, the presence ofJane and Sarah in this fiction shows the importance of family orgroup support when one is on the verge of giving up. They symbolizethe significance of hope and love as well as support. London Citysymbolizes how powerful a mind can be in achieving anything. In thefirst novel for instance, by portraying the insulting past of AmaliaGomez, her poverty and tapered choices facing her, the authorelucidates the quandary of particular marginal women who remainimpenetrable in the dark eons of female liberation, shut off from anyhelp and assistance (Rechy 22). Of what use are the rules andregulations for a female who has barely enough to feed herself, letalone support her children? What is the use of laws that keep ondiscriminating against marginal people and more so, women andchildren? There is no any sense of judicial services and bodies whenthey are only there to favor the high and mighty while the poor arecastigated and convicted even before they reach a court of justice.Where is justice in this? To sum it up, the hidden meaning in thesetwo novels makes the reader want to peruse more through the pages.Though they are somewhat different, the themes of these two fictionsare the same.


Lively,Penelope. Cityof the mind: a novel.Grove Press, 1991.

Rechy,John. TheMiraculous Day of Amalia Gómez: A Novel.Grove Press, 2001.