The loss of childhood innocence is explored in Robert Bly’s fairy tale story, The Loss of the Golden Ball. Bly’s unique and engaging voice takes the reader into a fantasy world to rediscover the simplicity and nondiscriminatory intelligence we once possessed as children. Bly appropriately chooses a fairytale setting and creates metaphors to represent youth and society. The “golden ball” is the youthfulness we lose as we grow up and become jaded by life and society. The hunters who search for this golden ball and the castle we are kept in represent society, which Bly believes is the cause of this loss of childhood simplicity and innocence.
Once we regain the golden ball, which Bly argues most people don’t ever do, we are then able to view the world as we did when we were children; a time when we didn’t see race, gender roles, or society’s notions of what is good, bad or normal. We are freed from societal expectations and influences, which caused us to lose the ball in the first place. Bly’s story allows readers to both question society’s influences in their life and remember what it was like to view the world as a child. Most people will return to their life without the golden ball, but for some “the Wild Man is then free at last, and it’s clear that he will go back to his own forest, far from “the castle” (Hart 65).
On Campus: Approach new ideas with the nondiscriminatory perspective of children.
Off Campus: Do something that reminds you of being a kid- go get ice cream, play sports outside, etc.
Above and Beyond: Get involved in a daycare center as a constant reminder of the beauty of childhood innocence. To find a daycare center here in Harrisonburg visit: