Gaiman incorporates some very interesting metafiction into this issue. The story is about a woman writer who is in a failing relationship with a man who is getting ready to leave her. She is putting the kids to bed and they ask her to read them a bedtime story, so she reads them “Winter’s Tale,” which is a kids’ book about the experiences of Winter, Miracleman’s daughter. The central part of the story is “Winter’s Tale,” as a story within a story.
Symbolically, Winter’s story is based on the archetypal hero’s journey, where she ventures away from home, learns deep truths, and then returns home to Miracleman, who symbolizes the divine source.
The entire story implies a world where the divine masculine has become the primary creative power. The mother symbolizes a creative divine that has become weakened and subjugated in our modern society.
This is a very sad story. The mother is depicted as lonely and unhappy, hoping that her joy for life will be rekindled through her children. Unfortunately, this is the reality for too many women in our society, who think that having children will ultimately save them from an unfulfilled life. But contentment and happiness can only come from within. Any time you seek something outside yourself to change how you feel, it will always lead to disappointment.