Book Censorship And Its Effect On Society

2303 words - 9 pages

Imagine our world to be the world of Fahrenheit 451. No books, no intelligence or depth in sight. This could be our world if we keep allowing censorship or banning of books. According to some people, books need to be censored for the protection of the public. However this belief will actually hurt us as a nation, not protect. As well, book banning will never stop the hardships and awful things that go on in the world; it will only provide ignorance to people and hatch more in later generations.Censorship is defined as the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are deemed "offensive". This happens whenever people succeed in imposing their personal, political, or moral values on to others to change what a book contains or where it can be bought or checked out to the public. The Catcher in the Rye,The Scarlet Letter, Huckleberry Finn, The Grapes of Wrath, The Diary of Anne Frank, Animal Farm, and To Kill a Mockingbird are all classic stories that have been restrained by censorship for "discourteous material". Such controversial or inappropriate items include racial discrimination, sexual situations or dialogue, degrading comments, heavy violence, and/or witchcraft, homosexuality, and profanity. According to the American Library Association, between 1990 and 2008, there were 9,600 book challenges, but for every book challenged, there are four to five instances that are not reported (ALA). This is such a big issue that there is a week dubbed Banned Books week, which is held in the last week of September. Book censorship is becoming a very common occurrence, when it truly doesn't have to. Book suppression will never stop, but if fought against it may be less common.Some individuals claim book censorship is essential to society today, like librarian Thomas Stock who reports, "What is the case that can be made for censorship? It can bestated in the following thesis: Ideas lead to bad acts, bringing harm to individuals and possible ruin to societies"(Stock 19). Stock's opinions can be overruled with this simple detail: People have the right to read whatever their heart desires, and keeping that from them is unconstitutional. As stated by David Bender and Bruno Leone, "Democracy is based on the idea that only when people are free to express openly can they govern themselves effectively"(Bender and Leone 13). These words describe the almost exact opinion of individuals against book censorship. Those who believe in revisions of what books can and cannot be in schools would agree with psychology professor Warren Thorckmorton who declares, "School districts have been facing decisions over what should be in the libraries as long as there have been libraries, but recent changes in the world of children's literature and our society have got to be dealt with" (Throckmorton 67) . Hiding certain ideas or happenings in books are sheltering kids and not giving them a chance to explore and come up with their own opinions and thoughts.In the Constitution it...

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