Censorship of Literature Promotes Ignorance

Powerful Essays
Censorship of Literature Promotes Ignorance

Wouldn't it be great if there was a country that stood for freedom and a flag that represented freedom to all through the world? Freedom, now that is hard to come by these days, especially when simple freedoms such as the freedom to read is taken away. Ordinary People by Judith Guest is an example of a novel which has been censored many times. Although "censorship" or "censor" is defined by the Webster's Dictionary as "one appointed to examine books, plays, newspaper articles, etc. before publication, and ban them if containing anything objectionable," censorship is just an old tradition of those in power with the attempt to keep decency and ignorance among the people. Much of the greatest literature in the world that actually provides important values for individuals are or have been banned. It is too bad that censorship has continued this far with society and still affects every part of the world. Even America, a name which rings freedom to many people in nations across the world, still holds this immoral tradition of banning literature from its citizens contradicting its free name.

The United States of America's constitution should protect the "god given" freedoms of those governed under their democratic government. The First Amendment of the constitution states: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Even with this amendment, the continuous banning of literature still occurs. What happened to the rights of the people? Isn't censorship technically illegal within America? According to the Westchester statement: "the freedom to read is guaranteed by the constitution" (Haight 126). So the right to read is not to be tampered with; however...

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...le is an Insult to Our Youth." The Buffalo News. 1996. 2b.

* Guest, Judith. Ordinary People. New York: Bowker. 1955.

* Haight, Anne. Banned Books. New York: Bowker. 1955.

* Keller-Gage, Shelley. "Censored: The Catcher in the Rye." Family Circle. 13 March 1990. 182.

* Ray, Jay. "Lancaster Board's Removal of Book Criticized by Civil Liberties Union." The Buffalo Nwws. 13 June 1996. 1D.

* Schuldt, Christy. "Hendrix College Profile: Book Banning Threatens Freedom." Online. America Online. 1-2. 8 Oct. 1998. Available:

* Staples, Suzzane. "What Johnny Can't Read-Censorship in American Libraries." Online. America Online. 7 October 1998. Available:

* Wilgoren, Jodi. "Teaching Life Lessons." Los Angeles Times. 14 June 1994. E1.
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