In keeping with the theme that D Wallz started with his article on Tin Tin, I thought I would mention a few banned books that I have read and appreciated and why they were banned. I do encourage people to comment about their favorite banned books as well in the comment section below if they feel so obliged.
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. This might be one of my favorite books of all time. I don’t know what it is about this book but I cry at the end every time. The part where our main character takes his kid sister Phoebe to the marry-go-round and he is narrating, he says that he wishes he could catch all of the kids before they went over the edge; that he would be the catcher in the rye. I don’t even know why but I almost cry every time I get to that part of the book.
This book was banned mostly in school libraries because of it’s themes of impropriety and scenes of sexual situations. I must have bought about seven copies of this book because each time I meet someone who hasn’t read this novel, I force a copy on them. Honestly, this novel is about growing up. Growing up is about themes of impropriety and sexual situations. I really feel that when books like this get banned, the adults who are banning them have just forgotten what it was like to grow up and be a confused and upset teenager.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I am going to have to say that Ray is not one of my absolute favorite sci-fi authors out there but he does a pretty good job. I was forced to read this when I was in high school which is probably why I only like it and not love it. Ray Bradbury says that his intent when writing this book was not to make allusion to state censorship but just to write an entertaining book about, well, books, and in particular how he was afraid television was going to antiquate books. When Michael Moore’s documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 came out, Ray Bradbury was actually mad at Michael Moore, going so far as to call him a “horrible human being” for making an obvious reference to Fahrenheit 451′s title in a movie that talked about the Bush Regime. Ray Bradbury said that he was only mad that Michael Moore did not give him credit where he felt credit (for the appropriated title) was deserved. I did hear that Michael Moore called him and apologized.
Either way, this book was banned mostly in schools for profanity and socialist content. Oh, and censorship. I don’t think it would make for a great TV mini-series, so I think Mr. Bradbury is in the clear as far as this book goes. As for The Martian Chronicles, well, I haven’t seen it.
Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax was banned from schools because of it’s anti logging industry themes. Seriously? I mean, it’s a kids book. It’s a book aimed at saving the environment and focused on the human impacts to the environment. So, I guess that yes, it probably would be a little negative on the logging industry which didn’t really start caring about it’s environmental impacts until very recently. Representatives for the logging industry have created a book called The Traux which is their response to Dr. Seuss’s book.
Also, this book has been edited, the line “I hear things are just as bad up in Lake Erie” was removed in 1974 after the lake had been cleaned up. Still, I think that these things should be left in their original form, the burning of the Cuyahoga River was a historical event, it happened and it shouldn’t be edited out of history just because we cleaned it up.
This is also another book near and dear to my heart, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. It tells of the hardships that early American pioneers had to face as they made their mark on the west. This book was banned for “crude language” and “graphic situations” I find it interesting that people can’t just read something to read it, why everything has to be prim and proper. Not everything in life is great and peachy, and you know, people do swear. If you don’t want to read it, then don’t, but don’t tell me what I can or cannot read, or for that matter, what any intelligent individual may or may not read. In fact, this book as been burned for it’s “vulgar” language. Burned. Don’t we live in America where all are welcome to freedom of speech? I guess that if you burn this book you are also utilizing your freedom of speech but…
Anyway, I think that this is all I am going to do for now, if you would like you can put up some of your own in the comments section. If I get a lot of interest from people about this article, I will put up some more.
Written by Alouette
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