The best thing that can happen to a book

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: March 17, 2019

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Submitted: March 17, 2019

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Ever since history began, it has been recorded. That's how we know about it nowdays. Literature has always been a part of culture as entertainment, but it's been a mirror to the society as well. Current events like wars and other cultural influences like religion and art are common examples of how literature represents the era it was made in. And ever since there has been literature in the society, there has been censorship of it.

Nowadays censorship by the goverment isn't as common as it has been, especially in western countries. There are some books that create quite passionate opinions and can cause interesting debates. In my opinion, that's excellent. Literature is supposed to strike a nerve and make you think. If it makes you think about what's wrong in society, awesome. Maybe you can do something about it to fix things to the better. 

Not even a few decades ago, a lot of books we see as normal fairytales, were banned in some areas. One good example is Alice's Adventures in the Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. It was banned in parts of China, because in the book, animals and humans were represented to be on the same level. The Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by E. L. James was banned in Malaysia, as it's seen as immoral and sadistic. Not to bash on the Malaysians, but I've read all the three books and I've seen children's books that are more immoral and sadistic.

A lot of books that are or have been banned or somehow censored, are controversial. They criticize a type of government, like George Orwell's many books, or they contain material that can be seen as "politically incorrect". They might contain explicit language, racism, violence or sexual material, which is something that people don't want everyone to read. If a government banns a book, in my opinion, that's the best thing they can do to make everyone want to read that book. It means that there's something the government doesn't want the people to realize, which makes us think, what's wrong with the government. The book will get popularity, sure, but maybe not the positive kind. But in arts overall, popularity can be negative and still good, because culture and arts are supposed to make people think. I like to think that if any piece of literature, art, or music, makes me question something I thought was okay, and take me out of my comfort zone, it has done its job. 

I don't approve of goverments banning books, but even less I approve of smaller organizations doing so. Schools, for example. A classic novel by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, is widely taught in many countries as part of the curriculum. That's great, as I personally like the book, but many people think it shouldn't be taught at schools, as it deals with issues like sexual assault and racism.

Another example that's more recent, is the book Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Yes, before Netflix totally ruined that amazing book for me and made the show, it was a book. I accidentally read it just a few months before the show was released, for my Finnish class, and as usual, the book was a thousand times better than the show. As the show was released though, a lot of teenagers felt the need to read the book, and some schools in the US wanted to take the book off their school libraries. That's the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of people wanting to do.

Okay, not completely, but it's still stupid. Kids nowadays don't read much. Now that they want to read a book they are interested in, you take that book away. Not to mention, the book and the show both deal with issues like suicide, bullying and rape, which are something most people have to deal with in their life one way or another. If adults want to stop kids from reading something, because they think it romanticizes suicide, no. It doesn't. Stop overreacting to every fucking thing.

If adults think they can stop their kids from seeing things like that, they're ignorant. Nothing stops kids nowadays from seeing videos where heads are cut off or watching a movie with sex on it. All the things that some people want to censor, are most likely in the Internet for anyone to see. That's both good and bad, as it can traumatize some people, but stopping teengers, or even younger kids, from reading a book where a girl kills herself, is ridiculous. 

Back to the Mockingbird topic, those kind of books should be introduced to kids at school. They are a part of history, and teach us something valuable about life. If someone uses a word "nigger" in a book or a video, censoring it isn't going to do anyone any good. Kids will most likely know what that word means. How are you going to tell them it's wrong to use that nowadays, but that it was normal in the past, if you refuse to even put the word in the original context? Controversial literature is important, and it shouldn't be censored at schools. Neither should it be censored at any level, but at least censorship will always give the book an edge.

 


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