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Censorship and the Banning of Books

analytical Essay
840 words
840 words
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There has been censorship since the times of the early Catholic Church with it dictating what you could and could not do. The people of the United States have looked back upon what was being done, and have expressed that it was wrong for the church to such a thing. However, the leaders of today seem to be hypocritical in the subject. They say that it was bad once, but today it is okay. Censorship is most prominent in books today, and the most common to be thrown out are the ones that have obscene language and sexual references. There are many examples of this; however, the few that are best known are: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. The banning of books, such as these, blocks the meanings that these mature and experienced authors are putting forth to the world.
The Catcher in the Rye is a classic novel written by J.D. Salinger that portrays the life of a confused teenager in New York City. The main character is a teenager that has been a delinquent throughout his life. Holden Caulfield says, “I forgot to tell you about that. They kicked me out [of Pencey]” (Salinger 4). The banning of the book begins when Holden starts to act like the delinquent that he has been described as. The book has a very strong vocabulary of words that are to this day considered inappropriate. As stated in Sweet “The Catcher in the Rye is one of the most barred from libraries and courses, ostensibly because of its sexually provocative language, but probably because of its alienated and irrelevant attitude toward the world” (Sweet 3). For example, the first of the strong language starts in the first paragraph of the book. On the topic of the history of his li...

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... parents do not object to sex education any more than they object to dictionaries, but when it is a question of what their teenage sons and daughters will read in school, they may prefer to replace materials that contain highly explicit illustrations or suggestive prose (Sweet 3).
The quote says that teenagers take sex education, but is it really just the teenagers. From a personal perspective, I was first taught sex education while in elementary school. Should society really be worried about what teenagers read more than what children, whose age is still in the single digits, learning about sexual intercourse? Society should stop worrying about what their children read, and more on the progression of their children toward adulthood at too early an age. The banning of books blocks the meanings that these mature and experienced authors are putting forth to the world.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that censorship has existed since the early catholic church, but the leaders of today seem hypocritical in the subject. censorship is prominent in books with obscene language and sexual references.
  • Analyzes how j.d. salinger's the catcher in the rye portrays the life of a confused teenager in new york city.
  • Analyzes how kurt vonnegut jr.'s slaughterhouse five is about a prisoner of war camp during world war ii.
  • Explains that mark twain is one of the most controversial authors in history because of his thick southern background. he uses writing to portray his time on the mississippi river, and as a young child.
  • Explains that books are banned on the basis of religion, and what children should be exposed to in their youth. catcher in the rye is used in high schools and college.
  • Explains that many parents do not object to sex education, but they prefer to replace materials that contain explicit illustrations or suggestive prose when it comes to what their teenage sons and daughters will read in school.
  • Opines that society should stop worrying about what their children read, and more on the progression of children toward adulthood at too early an age.
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