Here too prejudices and hatred held
The literature that tried to answer and guide people during the century, had to be either
Utopian or dystopian, showing them the ideal ways of living and ideal solutions. or, hold
a mirror to their mistakes by showing a world where everything is wrong. (The dystopia
Novel). The solution should be somewhere in between and include all perspectives and
points of view.
NATURE WRITING movement started by Henry David Thoreau pointed to ways of
living fundamentally divergent from the ones laid down by dominant dictates and
attitudes of society. (David L.Barnhill).Other authors have followed in the footsteps
giving their poetic solutions in their Fictions and Essays. Iron John , is a Work of the
Vietnam war trying earnestly to heal the wounds and bring together the alienated
members of the society. The book talks about the industrial civilization which cut
asunder the father and son who once worked shoulder to shoulder , teaching and learning
, bonded by that common experience. The father figure is no longer a reality in the war-
ravaged America. He is at best a frustrated, battered man who returns from the pressures
and stress of the workplace, too irritable to empathize, and at worst, a drunk, and more
often, a deserter of the family. The youth are angry with the older men for pushing them
into a war, butchering them without mercy while they themselves are safe .Old men fend
for themselves and have not time to spend in understanding the grievance of the younger
generation. Men just grow up angry at the loss of their childhood, disappointed with the
barrenness of their manhood and tired of having to play roles imposed on them by
But that is wrong; for, he must have the instinctive answer to the challenge of violence. Men must not be playing roles according to societal demands. The boys, in order to achieve this instinctive wisdom, must be early on removed from their mothers and even fathers, to learn in a commune as in all ancient cultures and civilizations.( BLY) Bly's conviction is that Man must mature and discover his maleness , by not losing touch with the earth ,and the historic and anthropologic roots of Masculinity. This world demands that Man must be successful. He obeys and achieves it, but at a cost. His vitality is lost. Instead, Bly asks them to turn to the inner consciousness "from where all poetry and mythology springs."(BLY) It is his prescription to cure the crippled inner life.
Bly touched a cord in all the American minds that had also been smarting under the pain. But he also invited the criticism that he was propagating a male chauvinist society. For, he seemed to address only the White and did not seem to take the Homosexuals into his reckoning. Starhawk who wrote during the same period, and against the same Vietnam war backdrop, had an utopian solution to offer. She creates an oasis of verdant ,fruitful , and happy people of multi generation and multi culture living in harmony with nature and in amity among themselves.