It is indeed true that as Anaya Rudolfo once said, “Books are the mirror within which we see ourselves”. This is justified in the life story described in the Gioconda Smile. The story is about a playful man named Hutton who was irresponsible and full of lies. He does not care about anything or anyone. That fact later comes back to haunt him in his life. Mr. Hutton was indeed blessed with natural looks, and he knew that it was his greatest advantage in winning women’s hearts. He is married to Emily, who is seeking for love and attention from him as a husband. There is an aspect of carelessness expressed by Mr. Hutton’s character in essence that, instead of taking his wife to a qualified specialist for proper treatment, he only prefers to use the local poor unqualified doctor Dr. Libbard. The doctor advised him to take his wife for a vacation, in order to enhance her healing process. He believes the change of the environment could positively impact her health towards the recovery. He takes the advice seriously and rejoices, because he now has a chance to spend more time with Doris, his extra marital affair. He plans to accomplish this by coming up with an excuse, as to why he cannot accompany his wife on her vacation.
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Mr. Hutton is also seen as a downright liar, who knows how to create excuses to get out of a tough situation. For example, in the scenario where he goes up to see Miss Spence at her house, while at the same time having left Doris waiting by the car. In Spence’s room, one can see him getting irritated by the presence of the ugly maid of Miss Spence, but at the same time, he loves being associated with beautiful women, even though he is married. He is full of ego and describes himself as the Christ of ladies! His intention of the visit was to seduce Miss Spence. He planned to achieve this by pretending to invite her over to his home, so that she could help him convince his sick wife to go for the trip and cheer her up. However, his intention was evil, as he only wanted to get to see her again. His way of getting out of fixed situation is seen whereby he convinced Miss Spence not to walk him to his car, since his concubine was waiting for him in the car.
Another instance, where his irresponsibility is evident is when he allowed wife to take food that was strictly prohibited for the sake of her health. He only exonerates himself by warning his wife that she should not blame him, when the sickness could persist again. He is so irresponsible that even after his wife felt sicker the same evening, he fakes a meeting that was never planned, so that he could have some sweet time with his girlfriend. Thus, when his wife is passing on, he is nowhere to be found, as he is with another woman. It only dawns on him that his dear, loving wife had left him alone and how badly he treated her when she needed him the most. These aspects of not caring about other people’s emotions came down upon him on that night, as he realized who he was. This revelation hit him so hard, that he lost interest in other women. He further blamed himself for the death of his wife and accepted that he deserved all terrible things happening to him, since he had done terrible things.
The punishment for his behavior was that the people accused him of facilitating his wife’s death. No one believes him, since his extra marital affairs were public knowledge, and there were witnesses to attest to this fact. Miss Spence falsely accused him to revenge the fact that he did not fall in love with her. Furthermore, she was the one who had poised Emily, so that she could have Mr. Hutton by her side. The accusation seemed so real that even Doris, his wife by then, does not believe him and attempts to commit suicide, despite being pregnant for Mr. Hutton. Mr. Hutton becomes extremely unhappy and devastated. He accepts that all these accusations were a true reflection of what he initially was and was all happening for a reason. Thus, nobody even dared to look for their suspect elsewhere, since he looked quite guilty and the facts were against him. However, in the real sense, it was Miss Spence who had poisoned his wife Emily.
Another aspect of mirror reflection is seen from Miss Spence’s perspective. Her loneliness in life makes her fall in love with a married man. One can see her get older without a man of her own in her life. She takes advantage of the fact that Mr. Hutton has some interest in her, and she devices a way to get him for her. Miss Spence is reflected to be truly selfish when she decided to disguise herself as a true friend, and uses this opportunity to poison the poor Emily, so that Mr. Hutton would be available for her finally, and only her. Her evil act indeed backfires on her when Mr. Hutton refused to succumb to her pleadings for them to be soul mates, and this drove her to bring up the story that would implicate Mr. Hutton as his wife’s murderer. She could not bear the news that another woman (Doris) had won him over her and was even pregnant for him. To her, Mr. Hutton would rather rot in jail rather than be happy with another different woman apart from her. She further falls ill often, which led Dr. Libbard to figuring out that she was indeed responsible for the murder of the poor Emily.
The aspect of the book being a reflection mirror is also seen in Doris’ character. Despite of her knowledge that Mr. Hutton is truly married, she falls into the love triangle and believes that they truly love each other and that they have a future together. There is an aspect of her being cheated on severally by Mr. Hutton, especially when Hutton referred that he has finally found love in Miss Spence’s arms. She takes the joke blindly and is being convinced easily that the tease was all meant to be a joke. She goes ahead to marry Mr. Hutton, who is still mourning the loss of his wife. However, all this backfired on her where she had a fierce fight with Mr. Hutton during the trial period. This resulted in her suicide attempt, especially when she realized that Mr. Hutton did not truly love her. She only agrees to stay when Dr. Liggard convinces her to stay for the sake of the innocent child that was growing inside her belly.
In conclusion, moral values should always be upheld in the society when one needs to live a happy life in the future. The issues of infidelity in relationships and marriages should be avoided, since they cause sad endings at joyful unions. The literature in Gioconda Smile teaches individuals the value of appreciating of what they have, and making the best of the situation. In the story, if Mr. Hutton had concentrated on his marriage, he would have rekindled his love with the wife Emily, and there could be no death at all, and probably a happy ending. The consequences of one’s actions are seen later at the end of the story; all terrible acts committed are seen to have bitter endings, since no one is happy eventually. Therefore, the statement “the Books are mirrors of which we see ourselves” as said by Rudolfo Anaya is indeed remarkably true. One should always strive to perform virtuous deeds in order to get a fulfilling life.
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