Thursday, October 15, 2009

Book Censorship

In the United States and many other countries around the world, the
practice of banning books still continues at the national and
sub-national level. The majority of the banning takes place in the
school system. In 2004 alone, over 500 books were challenged because of
their content. The argument supporting book banning is the same as it is
for other forms of censorship; by banning certain books from schools,
they are protecting students from exposure to indecent and controversial
material. The argument against banning books is that students and
parents should have the right to decide whether a book contains indecent
or controversial material, and whether or not they want to read it.
The issues that are most often considered controversial include
language, politics, religion, or sexuality. For these reasons, many
books that are now considered classics have been banned in the past.
Students will likely recognize some of the banned books from their
English classes. In fact, at school, we have read many of these once
banned books, including The Scarlet Letter, Huck Finn, Of Mice and Men,
Lord of the Flies, Ordinary People, Separate Peace, The Handmaid's Tale,
and To Kill A Mockingbird.
The debated issue involved with banning books is if censorship, in order
to protect students, should be allowed. Many that have read the above
books can agree that most, if not all, do contain offensive material.
However, the reason why many works of literature contain offensive
material is to provoke thought in the audience. In a high school
classroom, the offensive content of some works of literature definitely
provokes thought and is often the topic of countless discussions.
However, there are some instances where the offensive nature of the
literature has a negative effect, especially in the case of younger
students. It all comes down to a single question then, should certain
books be off-limits, or should everyone have the right to decide what
they want to read?


Scrubs said...

I think i agree we should be able to decide for ourselves what is acceptable and not acceptable. For instance The Scarlet Letter sets up EVERYTHING we are learning this year in english it is the base the fundemental ideas. As we move through the year we read more and learn more and grow upon those basic ideas. Without them we wouldnt have a class and wouldnt be learning. So yes i agree that we should choose to read what some may consider "indecent" books.

Titan24 said...

I think discretion of what is read in class should be up to the teachers and administration, but no books should be banned from libraries. Students, or anyone in general, should be allowed to read whatever they want on their own time. In schools, though, some censorship is neccessary to prevent parents and students from getting upset about education. Libraries should offer all books possible, regardless of its offensiveness, because every book published is bound to offend at least one group of people somehow.

iambroken said...

I believe books should not be banned. For the ones that have been once banned, there are reasons why those have been banned. Literature books turn out to be great after they have been banned. People need to learn from every side whether it's offensive or not. Those books open their eyes to the offensive things in the world, and maybe they'll learn a lesson to not become those characters in the book.

Anonymous said...

I do not think that it is right to ban books. Students have probably already seen a lot of stuff and arent being protected from anything. Also these books are a part of our history and culture and can teach students a lot.

Scrambled Eggs

Socrates said...

First off I think that people should have the right to choose for themselves. However, there are certain things that aren't appropriate for certain ages. Does that mean that books containing controvercial material should be banned from everyone for all time? No! Yes there are appropriate audiences but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't be allowed to read good literature because it contains a couple of curse words.

Snuffleupagus said...

Banning books seems a little ridiculous when you compare what kids can watch on tv. We don't crack down on tv as much as what we crack down on "indecent literature" that are in books.

A person should be able to choose what they want to read and what they don't want to read. I do see a point in restricting certain ages from reading a book seen as indecent, but not banning it entirely from a library.

waffle crisp said...

I don't think books should be banned. People should have the freedom to read or not read whatever they want. If you start restricting literature because of offensive content there might be nowhere to draw the line. Anything can be seen as offensive to someone.