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The Banning of Books in American Schools

analytical Essay
1054 words
1054 words
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Countries worldwide actively call for the banning of books that are found to be politically inconvenient, religiously awkward, or embarrassing in one form or another. But for writers like Russia's Vasily Grossman, a book's ban means far more than just a dip in sales. In 1961, he pleaded with the Soviet censors, "I am physically free, but the book to which I have dedicated my life is in jail." (Merkelson). A book represents an idea, thus limiting access to a book is banning the representation of an idea. The banning of books in American schools should not be allowed, because banning books will prevent students from learning the reason for the controversy and alternate viewpoints they can come to on their own.
As the American Library Association notes, books are usually banned "with the best intention…to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information." (Brunner). If a book has frightening or controversial ideas in them, adults willing often censor that book from children. From 2000 to 2009, of the 5,099 challenges that were reported, 1,639 of these challenges were in school libraries and 30 challenges in academic libraries. (Frequently Challenged Books). At various times in American history, even some of the tamest books have been banned. Harriet the Spy, was banned because it supposedly taught children to "lie, spy, back-talk, and curse." Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl was banned for being too depressing. A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein, was banned because it might encourage kids to break dishes so they won't have to dry them. (Frequently Challenged Books). While some of these excuses are more reasonable than other excuses, the banning of these books prevents the children from empathizing...

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... Controls Ideology." Libricide: The Regime-Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries in the Twentieth Century. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2003. 236-238. Rpt. in Book Banning. Ed. Ronnie D. Lankford. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.
Seesholtz, Mel. "Homophobia Is at the Root of Many Book Banning Efforts." Book Banning. Ed. Thomas Riggs. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. At Issue. Rpt. from "Teaching Bigotry and Hate: Lessons from the Christian Reich." Online Journal. 2006. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.
Trelease, Jim. "Book Banning Violates Children and Young Adult Freedoms." Book Banning. Ed. Ronnie D. Lankford. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007. At Issue. Rpt. from "Censorship and Children's Books." Trelease-on-Reading.com. 2006.Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that limiting access to a book is banning the representation of an idea. the ban of books in american schools will prevent students from learning the reason for the controversy.
  • Explains that books are banned with the best intention to protect others, often children, from difficult ideas and information. harriet the spy, a light in the attic, and shel silverstein are examples.
  • Explains that books were destroyed to suppress individualism in the interest of the collective or purging intellectuals.
  • Explains that homosexuality is a common target for book banning. the american family association is an anti-homophobic group.
  • Argues that the us constitution never mentions the rights they claim to hold over the books, and the bible doesn't call for the disentrance of others.
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