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The Perpetual Battle Against Censorship Essay

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 "There is more than one way to burn a book," (176) says Ray Bradbury when explaining the reason he wrote Fahrenheit 451. Bradbury at the time was upset about "condensed books", or books which had been simplified for easier reading. Luckily, this fad seems to have passed. However, he was also upset about people who wrote asking him to change the role of women or African-Americans to make them more or less dominant in some of his works. One of the major themes in Fahrenheit 451 was just that; a society where everyone got what they wished and literature was eliminated entirely so it wouldn't offend anyone. Sadly, this still continues to happen in the United States. Many books have been banned from school and public libraries because of language, sexual innuendos, violence, religion, alternate lifestyles, and even for being anti-family ("Challenges . . ."). Although the burning of books simply for the sake of eradicating them is a futile effort today, as Bradbury stated, censoring or banning them is basically the same thing. However, should literature be banned for offending a few? Many people don't think so, and they have U.S. laws to back them up. Not only is the censorship of literature in violation of the U.S. Constitution's first amendment, but it also deprives the American people of culture and knowledge.

The main argument against censorship is, of course, the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The first amendment reads "Congress shall make no law respecting on establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of gr...


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...e American Library Association. n.d. 13 Mar. 2014.
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Parkinson, Sid. "Milton's Areopagitica." Discourse 14 (Fall 1995). 12 Mar. 2014. http://www.stlawrenceinstitute.org/vol14mit.html

Remy, Richard C. United States Government: Democracy in Action. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2012.

"Stanton McCandlish on the CDA (fwd)." 14 Feb. 1996. 21 Feb. 2014. http://lawlibrary.ucdavis.edu/LAWLIB/feb96/0400.html

Weisberger, Bernard A. "Chasing Smut in Every Medium." American Heritage Dec. 1997. 12 Feb. 2014.
http://www.dc.peachnet.edu/~yliu/papr/comstock.htm).

Woolsey, John M. "The Monumental Decision of the United States District Court Rendered December 6, 1933, by Hon. John M. Woolsey Lifting the Ban on 'Ulysses.'" Ulysses. New York: Random House, 6 Dec. 1943. pp ix-xiv.

 


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