Forbidden books must be read
Forbidden Book Week takes place from September 18 to 24. Although the average student does not take classes that require extensive reading of literature, picking up a book is still a rewarding and enlightening experience that people can enjoy. And no better book to start this week than a forbidden book!
The college student curriculum prohibits few, but paying attention to banned books in high school can provide insight into some fascinating literature. While a book that has been stripped from the shelves may be for sexually explicit reasons, these are often books that are political and challenge thinking about government or current issues in the humanities. These examples include “1984” and “Brave New World”.
Additionally, “To Kill A Mockingbird” is a great example of a novel that challenged racial injustice in American society in an honest way, thus receiving a ban. Yet this book can open eyes and impact the creation of complete citizens of society.
In short, these are usually the novels that tackle realistic and difficult issues. They may be considered inappropriate or propaganda in a classroom setting, but defy the reader’s thought far beyond the average fantasy series.
Reading banned books gives audiences a chance to step into the shoes of characters different from themselves – it can provide new understanding that a news broadcast or history textbook cannot provide through a format which builds vocabulary and intellect.
Banned books may also end up tackling issues that students may face, such as racism, sexism, and homophobia. The book might provide the representation they need, but demanding representation from yourself also extends beyond high school walls, making these books rewarding at any stage of life.
Currently, mainstream books under threat of banning have been topical for people of color and the LGBTQ+ community and banning these books is a form of oppression on communities. The banning of books can be seen as a restriction of the voice of the people.
Many of today’s classics are yesterday’s banned books. Consider the impact banned books can have on society and the creation of empathetic citizens. It is important to pay attention to what is trying to be censored by schools, otherwise we could find ourselves in the society of “1984”. Of course, we wouldn’t know that if we hadn’t read the book.