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Censorship And The Banning Of "The Chocolate War" By Cormier

1093 words - 4 pages

Our country was founded on the ideals of freedom of speech and expression, and now all Americans have to make sure they are upheld. The books on this list are intelligent stories that challenge your perceptions and make you aware of the often harsh realities of life. And while, certainly, a parent might decide a particular book is too mature for his or her child, no city council or church group or senator should have the right to declare a book off limits for every child in a community.Censorship is becoming more and more common all over the world, especially in the United States. This is happening in schools and libraries across the country too often (once is too often). If children are raised without exposure to other views, how will they know that they are wrong or right when the come into contact with them later in life? Why must a select group of people control the material they are exposed to? Are they any better than the children? Are the children not capable of making decisions of their own? How can we expect them to make decisions as adults if they don't as a child? This needs to change. Americans have the freedom of speech. Books are just a medium to convey one persons thoughts and ideas to another. The world isn't perfect, so don't make it seem that way. Why should a book be banned just because the main character is mad at himself and mentions he should could jump off a cliff? So let's stop this, right now.The Chocolate War is a fictional account of what happens to a teen who refuses to sell chocolate bars for a fund-raiser at an all-boys Catholic school. He's intimidated by school administrators, harassed by fellow students and eventually brutally beaten .Since its publication in 1974, Cormier's novel has been condemned for its foul language and sexual content. Considering the story takes place at a high school, this is somewhat like condemning a boxer for punching. The protagonist, Jerry Renault, is a freshman at an all-boys prep school, and his refusal to take part in the annual fund-raising chocolate sale sets off a peer-induced power struggle that tears apart the school -- and Jerry's life.Since its publication, the book has been near the top of the most frequently censored books. The novel incited much protest from parents and teachers, who disapproved of the mature language and themes of a book that was supposed to be for teenagers. The book was considered inappropriate because of swearing, masturbation, violence and a depressing, dismal ending. Cormier spent much of his life after 1974 defending the book, and writing others along similar themes. According to Banned in the U.S.A. by Herbert N. Foerstel, a book that documented the most frequently censored books according to public schools and libraries in the US between 1990-1992, The Chocolate War is number five, just under Huckleberry Finn. Despite the negative attention garnered by the book, The Chocolate War also won high praise, named as one of the best books of the year by...

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