Censorship Of Literature Promotes Ignorance Essay

2041 words - 8 pages

Censorship of Literature Promotes Ignorance

Wouldn't it be great if there was a country that stood for freedom and a flag that represented freedom to all through the world? Freedom, now that is hard to come by these days, especially when simple freedoms such as the freedom to read is taken away. Ordinary People by Judith Guest is an example of a novel which has been censored many times. Although "censorship" or "censor" is defined by the Webster's Dictionary as "one appointed to examine books, plays, newspaper articles, etc. before publication, and ban them if containing anything objectionable," censorship is just an old tradition of those in power with the attempt to keep decency and ignorance among the people. Much of the greatest literature in the world that actually provides important values for individuals are or have been banned. It is too bad that censorship has continued this far with society and still affects every part of the world. Even America, a name which rings freedom to many people in nations across the world, still holds this immoral tradition of banning literature from its citizens contradicting its free name.

The United States of America's constitution should protect the "god given" freedoms of those governed under their democratic government. The First Amendment of the constitution states: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Even with this amendment, the continuous banning of literature still occurs. What happened to the rights of the people? Isn't censorship technically illegal within America? According to the Westchester statement: "the freedom to read is guaranteed by the constitution" (Haight 126). So the right to read is not to be tampered with; however, society and the government take actions which makes that statement hypocritical. The government unfortunately restricts adversely related items into the United States (140). Yes, that may protect the stability of the country but still discourages originality and the realistic view that there is more to the world than the American way of life. No one or idea should be censored based on original ideas because that "would mark the end of the democratic process" itself (126). For as long in history that censorship has been around, it is a shame that America itself has sunk into that spell.

Censorship has been continuing far before the turn of this millennium. Even before the birth of Christ, censorship has been building a solid foundation in Earth's history. Over two thousand years ago in 387 B.C., a man called Plato made an attempt to ban Homer's The Odyssey (Schuldt 1). This just shows the striking similarity between censorship then and now. People were able to ban a book just because they objected to its contents. Even the Bible was banned from people throughout the world causing certain countries such as Russia only to allow anti-religious books (1). How can a book as respected and followed as the Bible be banned...

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