May 2019 archive

Banned and Challenged Books

Today, censorship is used in many countries around the world. Censorship is when access to specific material is controlled for a group of people. Certain items may be censored because they are not appropriate for a community. They may involve profanity, racism, nudity, offensive wording, substance abuse and suggestive actions. Books may be challenged or banned if some people believe it is not suitable for the public. A challenged book would mean someone points out the reasons why it should be censored, but would not be successful in restricting access. A banned book means someone challenged it was effective in banning the book. Books may be banned for a certain group of people such as students or from society all together. “Animal Farm,” written by George Orwell was a short allegorical novel. Written during WWII, it was about a group of farm animals that rebelled against their farmer. They hoped to create a safe and happy place where the animals could be equal. This book was banned because it promoted ideologies such as Communism and was critical of the USSR. Some argued it denied constitutional rights and had indecent pictures of animals which were not appropriate. It was also banned because it included parts that contradicted religious beliefs. “Animal Farm,” was offensive to many groups of people and for that reason, the novel was banned from several schools and countries. “Fahrenheit 451,” written by Ray Bradbury was also a banned book for many reasons. The book was inspired by Bradbury’s growing fear of technology’s influence on society. It could be banned or challenged because it paints a picture of a dystopian world where free thought is discouraged, and people lack the ability of human interaction. In the novel, books were illegal and having possession was a punishable crime. If books were found, they would be burned by firemen. The book has sensitive subjects and draws very close parallels to the world today. People may worry about the public having access to the novel because many heavily rely on technology and does not want others to think the future may be similar to the book’s world. Censorship is a significant tool to control what a younger audience can see however, it is important that adults have access to books so they are able to form their own views and opinions.