Friday, 16 October 2015

Banned Books

Books have been banned across the world for a huge variety of reasons. Often they are removed because of controversial ideas that parents deem unsuitable for their children to study within schools, but they have also been banned throughout whole countries for their content.

In (very late) honour of banned books week (which was over 2 weeks ago) I will be listing all of the banned books I have read.

Banned Books I have Read

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
People have attempted to ban His Dark Materials in the past and in 2008, Pullman ranked 2nd in the American Library Asociation's list of books that people have tried to ban across America because it showed religion in a negative light.
I read these books when I was very young, so I actually have no recollection of the story other than a few minor plot points.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Bradbury's book was not banned, but cencored in order to remove any swear words and many complained that the book went against religious beliefs. The irony of this is that Fahrenheit 451 is actually about the banning and burning all books in order to prevent society from being influenced by the words inside them.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
This book has been challenged by many for showing the loss of innocence within a group of children as they lose all concept of civilisation and become savage. It was challenged in a school in North Carolina for being "demoralising, in that it implies man is little more than an animal."

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games was criticised for being anti-family and pro-violence. It was considered "unsuitable for the age group", and with the theme of rebellion against twisted leaders, it's no surprise that the series has caused controversy.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This book was removed from libraries across America for it's explicit sexual content and "glorification of alcohol use and drugs."

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
People have called this work degrading and racist, saying that it "promotes white supremacy", but how they believe this I cannot understand. This is the polar opposite of what the book is supposed to achieve. The whole purpose of the novel is to highlight the tragic events of the past, and the reason it is still taught today is so that new generations can see and learn from it. It's the same reason as to why we study history rather than current affairs - we need to know about the mistakes humanity has made to gain context for what is happening today. We need to not make the same mistakes.

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