Iron John will teach you about the journey to manhood
Book: Iron John - A book about men.
Author: Robert Bly
Published by Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 1990
Published by Vintage Books
Publication date: 1992
Synopsis: Using the Brothers Grimm Fairy tale "Iron John" as a vehicle, Bly explores the myths and cultural underpinnings of a distinctly vigorous male mode of feeling, a combination of fierceness and tenderness long since sacrificed to the demands of the industrial revolution.
Iron John is a German fairy tale found in the collections of the Brothers Grimm, tale number 136, about a wild man and a prince. It is Aarne-Thompson type 502, the wild man as a helper.
Most people see the story as a parable about a boy maturing into adulthood. The story also became the basis for the book Iron John: A Book About Men which spawned the Men's Movement in the early 90's.
Iron John conjures up the image of a dark and foreboding person, armoured, inflexible and grim. He is a symbol for the transformation of men away from the rational, rigid, unfeeling and destructive stereotypes of the past. Yet the figure is clearly important to Bly. It is intriguing that the book is named after him and not the Wild Man, with whom he appears interchangeable during the story as told by Bly.
Although there are many variations, the important elements are common to all versions. The story begins when a king sends one of his huntsmen into a forest nearby, a huntsman who never returns. The king sends more, each meeting with the same mysterious and unknown fate. The king finally sends all his remaining huntsmen out as a group, but again, none return. The king proclaims the woods as dangerous and off-limits to all. www.ironjohn.ixvv.com/Iron-John-a-Book-About-Man/
Some years later, a wandering explorer and his dog come to the kingdom, hearing of these dangerous woods. The explorer asks permission to hunt in the forest, claiming that he might be able to discover the fate of the other hunters. Want to know more? It is a great story worth reading.
If you would like more information about the book, which includes informational and educational content and resources, please visit: Iron John.
About the Author: Randell Rogfend is an established writer and newspaper columnist with a distinguished career. His passion is writing and he covers many topics with a view to educating the public. To read more about his latest interest, please visit www.ironjohn.ixvv.com.