Banning of Books Represents a Close-Minded Nation

Courtesy Photo

Rachel Decker
The Paw Print


Books dealing with controversial topics have been under fire for decades now, causing conflict, strife, and confusion to many authors and readers. Books can be banned from schools for any number of reasons, ranging from violence, to witchcraft, to racial slurs. However, just because a book contains those things does not mean it is a bad book. Banning books is not only frustrating to teachers who wish to use the books to help teach subjects, but it’s an insult to the authors who have spent months, and even years, writing the stories.
Most banned books are things that everyone has either read or heard about. Books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Catcher in the Rye, and To Kill A Mockingbird have been on the top of the banned books list for years now. These books are classics; they’ve been in the American classroom for years now, only to be ripped off the shelves because parents feel that the books “send the wrong message” according to Librarian Cindy Hawthorne. “Huck Finn” and “Mockingbird” were banned due to the use of racial slurs and profanity, while “Catcher” was banned simply because it dealt with issues of depression, prostitution, and alienation.
Banning books for trivial things like that just shows how close-minded our nation has become. These books, which are admired in the literary community for being some of the best books ever written, are kept out of classrooms and school libraries for their language. Neither the books nor the authors condone using such language; they do not promote it, and they have stated that they do not use it themselves. The words they use in their stories are used either to prove a point by showing how offensive or hurtful the words are, or to give personality to the character using it.
Newer books such as the Harry Potter series, Twilight, The Bluest Eyes, and Slaughterhouse Five are beginning to creep their way into the top ten. While “Bluest Eyes” and “Slaughterhouse” are banned as well for their unsuitable language, schools are now beginning to ban “Potter” and “Twilight” for “their relation to witchcraft and the worry that children will not be able to differentiate reality from fantasy”. While it’s true that “Potter” deals with a lot of witchcraft –that’s the entire basis for the story, after all- “Potter” author J.K. Rowling is not attempting to turn children into devil-worshiping minions, and, quite frankly, if a child has that much trouble telling reality from fantasy, there are bigger problems than what book they’re reading.
As for Twilight, though there are some sexual references in the last book, and a gruesome scene near the end, that is no reason to ban the book. The love scenes are not tasteless, and they are a part of the plot. Being quite frank, there are several Saturday morning cartoons that have more graphic scenes in them than “Twilight” has, and so far no one has come forward to ban those. Of course, the way our society is turning out, it is only a matter of time. If America went around banning other books and things the way they ban these books, most every TV show would be gone, and you can guarantee several Disney movies would be gone. Aladdin steals food, the Indians in Peter Pan portray serious racial stereotypes, Cinderella deals with witchcraft, and the Disney princesses give young girls a very narrow sexist perspective on how they should look.
If anyone, parent or onlooker, feels the need to ban a book, they should come up with some better reasons other than the language is a bit harsh, and the situations are a bit rough. If nothing else, these books can help show kids that the real world is not just a safe little bubble where everyone loves everyone, and things turn out okay. They help prepare kids for real life, and they get them to read as well. If our society continues to oppress literature the way they are, we won’t have anything left to read. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet