The Pros And Cons Of Book Censorship

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Sandhya Piratla Mrs. Crankfield AP Language and Composition May 27th, 2014 To Ban or Not To Ban Censorship, the stifling of words, images, and ideas that are considered offensive, occurs whenever a person or group of people is able to successfully impose their views and morals onto others. Censorship, particularly book censorship, often takes place in the United States of America, and often leads into many books being unfairly challenged and banned (Book Censorship). The banning of books is most often motivated by the instinct to shield children from reading sexually inappropriate material or offensive language. However, while the incentive behind challenging and banning books is admirable, an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights maintains that “librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents----and only parents----- have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children--- and only their children---- to library resources” (About Banned & Challenged Books). The First Amendment right is violated when anyone other than these children’s parents decides what is right for them to read. Many books are unfairly banned. An example of one type of book is The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. The Bell Jar was banned at Warsaw Community High School, at Warsaw Indiana, due to the controversial ideas seen in the book, including: rejection of social roles and sexuality (Sova 41). The Bell Jar revolves around Esther Greenwood, a thinly veiled depiction of Plath herself. One of the main reasons as to why The Bell Jar was challenged in Warsaw was because of the contentious issue of the rejection of ‘normal’ social roles in the novel. Throughout the story, Esther struggles between conforming to society’s exp... ... middle of paper ... ... sent out a subliminal message, especially to the female race: no matter how hard they will try, the female race will never be able to outgrow the patriarchal system that society has firmly in place and think freely about their sexuality. If the books that help women realize the danger of conforming to society’s expectations are banned, how will they ever grow and evolve their thinking towards a more egalitarian view on the world? There are a few reasons has to why The Bell Jar had been banned in Warsaw. However, when the core group reading the book is mature enough to understand the deeper meaning of the book, what is the point of banning the book? The Bell Jar has an amazing capacity to teach students of the dangers of conforming, but if the novel (and others like The Bell Jar) is banned, then the students may as well never know those deeper meaning and dangers.

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