Banning Books Essay Research Paper Banning BooksOur

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Banning Books Essay, Research Paper Banning Books Our freedom is under attack! Censorship is clearly an attack on our freedom. There are a number of books that are banned or challenged that are great books, such as The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. These books are classics. Banning these books robs students of great literature. Censorship of books in secondary schools should not be allowed. The list of books that have been banned completely in many schools across the nation is expansive, and so are the reasons that parents and schoolboards give for banning these books. Advocates of literary censorship say that it’s best for the students. Opponents say that it is detrimental to the educational system. The students have

mixed emotions. Literary censorship at the secondary school level is indeed very widespread. One of the most controversial books is Huckleberry Finn, which is currently under fire by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the NAACP because it contains the word ?nigger? 39 times in the first 35 pages. They feel that the liberal use of such a derogatory word is detrimental to the self-esteem of young African-American children. The NAACP says that they want the book removed from required-reading lists, but they are not out to censor it (Campbell, par. 4). Large groups such as the NAACP are not the only people pushing for Huckleberry Finn’s banning in America’s schools. Small groups of parents have protested the book’s status as required reading in their children’s schools because of

its language. Huckleberry Finn isn’t the only book targeted by parents. Another frequently challenged book is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This book was handed out at an Irvine, California, middle school in 1992 with profane words such as ?damn? and ?hell? blocked out. Students wrote to Bradbury describing the situation and pointing out the irony that a book about the evils of censorship had to be censored before they could read it. The books were soon replaced with uncensored ones (Campbell, par. 27). The Catcher in the Rye was challenged in several school districts nationwide because of the liberal use of slang and obscene words that author J.D. Sallinger used to make the book more realistic. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird has been banned in several secondary schools

for containing racist slurs. Some readers felt that the book portrayed Negroes as barbarians and criminals. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare was banned in a secondary school in Midland, Michigan, because a small group of parents felt that the character Shylock projected a negative image of Jews. Another Shakespeare classic, Twelfth Night, was banned in Merrimak, NH schools in 1996 after a “prohibition of alternative lifestyle instruction” act was passed by the school board. Other Shakespearean works have been challenged in various schools in America because parents and administrators felt that some characters project a homosexual image (”Banned,” par.7). Every person who is involved in debate over literary censorship believes that he or she is doing the right

thing for the students. The advocates of literary censorship believe that exposing children to such material as Huckleberry Finn in high school will contaminate their minds with racist garbage at a time in their lives when they are searching for things to believe in. Opponents see the banning of Huckleberry Finn in many schools a form of censorship that will teach children that speaking their minds is not a good thing to do (Campbell, par. 8). However, the debate over literary censorship in schools is not a debate over whether or not literature should be censored at all. Most parents, teachers, and administrators would agree that censorship is necessary to maintain a good environment for learning. The debate is over whether or not to draw the line at Huckleberry Finn. If the book