An Age of Ignorance: Obstructing Children from Essential Knowledge

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When presented with a list of such book titles as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Lord of the Flies, and Of Mice and Men, educated and book-loving individuals alike are often reminded fondly of timeless American classics. These novels are frequently taught in advanced literature classes throughout U.S. schools, by highly respectable teachers. However, shift the focus of the matter to an alternate group of people, and you will find these brilliant literary works in a much different category: Banned lists (Kelly). Censorship is defined as “deleting parts of publications or correspondence or theatrical performances” (Wolfram Alpha). Needless to say, the practice of banning books easily fits that description. Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is oftentimes banned for depicting rape, as well as being “anti-white.” John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is discriminated against for containing too much profanity. The anonymously-written Go Ask Alice has been shunned for portraying drug use, sexual situations, and profanity. (Kelly) Other than being banned, though, these books all have something more in common; they are classic works that have timeless, moralistic value. They each tell a message. Their messages couldn’t possibly be conveyed in their original, meaningful essences if the contents of the books were to be altered or removed from society all together. Therefore, children and adults alike would miss out on countless opportunities to expand their enlightenment. Unfortunately, for many parents, the offensiveness of the written content completely overshadows the educational substance. They presume that it is more prudent to keep these things from tainting children’s minds than it is to allow them to thoroughly explor... ... middle of paper ... ... promises of a wonderful future. The world cannot move forward without the power of knowledge and learning. Preventing access to this source of power and forfeiting this hard-earned right is counter-productive, and could eventually lead to the existence of an all-powerful, non-democratic government. While a parent perhaps wins the battle by taking an unsuitable book from a child, they lose the war by sacrificing the freedoms that have heretofore been congenital for everyone from the day they were victoriously acquired. Works Cited Evelyn. kidSPEAK! n.d. . Kelly, Melissa. Censorship and Book Banning in America. n.d. Kelly, Melissa. Top 10 Banned Books. n.d. Kennedy, Elizabeth. Book Censorship and Banning of Children's Books. n.d. Wolfram Alpha. Wolfram|Alpha. n.d. .

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