Uncensored Books Save the Children Finalized, Research Paper Example
Words: 2984Research Paper
Throughout the years, there have been a number of American books that have been banned from public schools or from the public eye simply because of the concepts or language that the books attempts to portray. What individuals should become cognizant is of the actuality that banning these kinds of books goes directly against the First Amendment of the United States of America, that which gives individuals the freedom to express themselves through their speech. Although some books have been proven to create uproars within the nation, they have rightfully done so. With that, it can be said that different kinds of books create different public responses. For example, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger has been greatly criticized for its perpetual foul language and its many references to sexual acts. The reason why it is imperative that individuals analyze that topic of hand is so that everyone understands that no book should be banned because of the manner in which books express ideas, and only through those ideas can young minds be taught about the world in which they live in. With that being said, it can be easily seen that the purpose of this paper is to prove the conjecture that all schools in the United States of America should put a stop to the banning of books that they have imposed for years now. If and when individuals understand the literary importance of books, even if they are misguiding to some individuals, everyone will come to terms with the fact that books are a necessary thing to have in a community in order to keep it in shape. (Center for the Book at the Library of Congress)
First and foremost, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger must be thoroughly discussed. The main argument as to why this book was banned was because of the manner in which the protagonist, Holden, constantly made references to sexual acts and he even contracted a prostitute at one point in the story due to the fact that he was feeling so lonely. Another problem that was found with this novel was the fact that it used too much vulgarity within the pages. Another reason as to why the novel was banned is because it taught children that underage drinking should be considered okay and that there was no problem with doing so. Also, the book has many violent scenarios and many individuals did not consider it okay for children to learn that it was okay to be wandering off in New York City by themselves at the mere age of sixteen. Clearly, many individuals (mostly parents) did not find it acceptable for their children to be learning such things within their respective institutions, and so, the book was banned. (Legal Information Institute)
Although the motives for banning this book are more than justified, these schools who banned the book clearly did not recognize the true literary importance of the book. Those who banned the book did not realize that the things that Holden was facing in the novel, all of the challenges that he overcame, are actual things that happen in a teenager’s life. For example, there were many scenes in which Holden stated that we was very lonely and one could easily infer that he was a depressed individual. Through the simple act of having schools ban this book shows that the schools do not want the children to know that it is a difficult world out there. There should be no doubt about the fact that by banning the book, children are not being given the opportunity to explore new territory because of the fact that they are being constrained to only the books that the school has deemed as “ordinary” and “not out of place.” (Center for the Book at the Library of Congress)
The harsh reality about this is that children must start learning about the world at young age. Having a sixteen year old boy not being able to read a book about a sixteen year old boy who wanders off into the world alone is not okay. These children need to be taught that the “real world” is often a very difficult place and that it will not always be rainbows and butterflies for them. Of course, this is by no means intended to scare the children away, but they must be taught that it is okay to fail at times, just like the protagonist in the novel. The problem that many schools foresee with reading these kinds of books is that the students will soon begin to do the same exact things that are done in the books. However, this has a simple solution. Just because a book has foul language, violence, and prostitution does not mean that a school should ban it. In that case, the majority of all movies should have been banned by now. What schools need to come to terms with is that Catcher in the Rye is able to take individuals through real-life struggles like no other book can. Once schools start grasping this, they will come to understand that not only should the novel not be banned, but that it is a necessity in an institution so that students understand the importance of staying in school. Taking a book off the shelves simply because it has content that is out of the norm should not be a good enough reason for a book to be banned. In fact, these kinds of books should be promoted so that the kids learning from these books see how those individuals who pursue certain bad things end up. (Legal Information Institute)
If anything, it would be the teacher’s responsibility to teach the students that all of the things that they read in those books are not the ideal things to be doing. It is the teacher’s responsibility to clarify to the students that everything that takes place in a novel is not necessarily true unless it is a non-fiction book. But even then, teachers should take it upon themselves to explain to the students that things such as prostitution, foul language, and violence are not things that are promoted within a society. The reason as to why Catcher in the Rye should be promoted within school institutions is because it is a great way to show students of what not to do and what not to be. Although this may be difficult to sell to parents, they must also come to grasp that a little foul language and violence within a book does not take away the literary importance of a novel. Perhaps what grown-ups are afraid of when showing these kinds of novels within schools is that the children with want to indulge in the kind of actions that are taking place in the books. However, parents must learn to trust their children that they will not pursue such atrocities.(Center for the Book at the Library of Congress)
Now, it must be completely understood that this argument is not promoting the showing of explicit books to very young children simply because of the literary importance that the book contains. If that were the case, then this argument would be coherently flawed, as it would be promoting the use of censored books for infants. In order to avoid any kind of misinterpretation, the argument at hand must be explained. The showing of censored books is okay for children once they reach a certain age of maturity. The reason as to why it is important that individuals always keep this in mind is because if this is not always remembered, then by reading this argument, individuals will start to think that it is okay to show a five year old a book on prostitution. By all means, this argument does not prove that. What this thesis attempts to prove is the fact that it is okay to show a student something that they might find useful throughout the course of his or her life. (“Banned Book: The Catcher in the Rye.”)
If students are never introduced to the harsh realities of the world through novels, then there is only one other way that they will be introduced to the harsh realities of the world: through real-life. It does not take a genius to realize that if a student who does not know any better is offered a drug, he or she would invariably take it because he or she was never taught or instructed that taking or using drugs is not the norm nor is it okay. Another example is depression. A student might become depressed for whatever real-life reason (such as a student’s parents getting a divorce). After a while, the student might think that there is something that is completely wrong with him or her simply because of the fact that he or she is depressed. What this student would not be able to realize immediately is that there are methods by which depression can be treated effectively. Instead, this student would most probably keep the depression within him or her hidden until that certain depression turned into suicidal thoughts at whatever point in that student’s life. Although it would be very unfortunate for a student to take his or her own life simply because of the fact that he or she did not seek out help earlier on in his or her life due to lack of instruction, these are actual things that take place in many part of the United States of America. In order to completely avoid these things from happening, it is vital that parents know better than to start censoring the books that could save their children’s lives. Sure, this certain course of action may come at a cost in that one’s children will learn more foul language than he had ever imagined existed, but in the end, it is all justified. (Santipr)
A reason as to why Catcher in the Rye should be given even more consideration that other books is due to the fact that it is said that J.D. Salinger, the author, went through a life very similar to that of Holden’s. The details are often hard to come by, but simply knowing that this novel might be real-life scenario increases the popularity of the book and the chances that this real-life scenario could one day happen to a student. It goes without saying that if a student were to be placed in the same circumstances as Holden was placed within the novel, the student would be extremely grateful that his or her school gave him or her the opportunity to read such a book. This student would then be cognizant of what do to under his or her current circumstances because she or he has already seen it within Catcher in the Rye. (Center for the Book at the Library of Congress)
At first, it might be extremely difficult for parents and school administrators to believe that the book at hand should be approved and should no longer be censored, but after some time, both the teachers and the parents might realize that they would rather their children learn a little bad things so that if they were ever to be placed in those given circumstances, they would immediately have an idea of what to do and know how to get out of their current situation. Something the must be noted about the novel is the fact that Holden faces a number of controversies along the way. At only sixteen years old, he struggles with cigarette smoking, alcoholism, and at times, emotional breakdowns. The truth is that many students face these exact problems nowadays. Somewhere out there, there is without a doubt a student who sneaks outside his house at night just to smoke the cigarettes that his parents have told him to stop smoking repeatedly. This student might feel out of place because he or she knows that the or she might be the only person in the family that has ever smoked. In fact, this student might be the only person that smokes within a school. (Center for the Book at the Library of Congress)
Clearly, this individual would feel out of place being the minority within the vastness. He or she may be forced to be an outcast and not know what to do. Now, while some would argue that in order to stop being an outcast, this individual would simply stop smoking, this is far from the truth. As it has been proven, cigarette smoking is more of an addiction that cannot be easily stopped, especially by a young student who has the inability to make decisive decisions by himself or herself. In actuality then, what would actually happen with this individual is that he or she would want to leave his current situation. This would most probably lead to becoming depressed or to not having any friends to back him or her up. (Santipr)
If, however, this individual would have read the novel being discussed at hand, then this individual would realize that many individuals go through the same struggles. This person would understand that it is okay to ask for help so that he or she does not end up like Holden in the novel. In this case, the novel would have served a noble cause and it may have even saved a life. It goes without saying that this student would feel grateful for the fact that he or she was given the opportunity to read the novel at such a young age. This can be applied to the other two challenges that Holden faces: alcoholism and emotional breakdowns. It would surprise many adults to realize that such a vast number of young children struggle with these kinds of problems.
By reading the novel, however, these children would realize that they are not alone. They would realize that there are other people facing the same problems that they are currently facing. They would no doubt understand that if someone was able to fight their way out of their current situation, then they can too. The novel would serve as motivation for the children who think that they have lost it all. In times like these, the children would not even pay any heed to the foul language or violence that is being displayed within the book because they would be too captivated by the message that the book is conveying. Because of this sole reason, schools should reconsider un-banning this book. In fact, it would be an extremely smart idea for schools to enforce the teaching of this book. Through this instruction, kids would be able to understand the value of never giving up, regardless of how difficult one’s situation may appear at any moment in one’s life. This kind of thinking about help kids ensure a prosperous future for themselves. (Legal Information Institute)
One important thing that must be kept in mind when instructing this book, however, is to always remind the students that the behavior that is undergone in the novel is wrong. Due to the fact that many student do not yet have the ability to differentiate between right and wrong at such a young age, it would be wise to remind these children that becoming a slave to both alcoholism and cigarette smoking, saying foul language, indulging in violence and prostitution is never a good thing. The idea that Holden is an extravagant character in term soft being ignorant and angry is something that must be enforced so that the children understand that this kind of character is not something that should be strived for. (Legal Information Institute)
If and when individuals understand the literary importance of books, even if they are misguiding to some individuals, everyone will come to terms with the fact that books are a necessary thing to have in a community in order to keep it in shape. Due to the idea that books hold great value, they should be given that appropriate value within school facilities. School administrators must come to understand that book should not be banned because of the great messages that they are able to convey. Again, this is not arguing that all kinds of books should be placed within a school at no expense, but that certain books with special messages should be given a second analyzation and should de deemed especially important if they are able to teach the children something about the circumstances that they might be going through at the moment. If these suggestions are avoided and ignored, however, then students might be faced with a lot of future problems that they do not know how to solve because they may have never been taught how to solve these certain problems. Because of the fact that books, no matter how controversial, teach students how to solve conflicts within their own lives, they should not be banned under any given circumstances.This would ensure a successful well-being for all kinds of future generations. (Santipr)
“Banned Book: The Catcher in the Rye.” California State University, Northridge. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2015.
Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. “Banned Books That Shaped America.” Banned Books Week. Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, n.d. Web. 13 June 2015.
Legal Information Institute. “First Amendment | Constitution | US Law.” LII / Legal Information Institute. Legal Information Institute, n.d. Web. 13 June 2015.
Santipr. “Who Banned Catcher in the Rye and Why? | Academic About Movies/music/tv, Pop Culture/trends, School/college and Social Issues/civics.” Teen Ink | A Teen Literary Magazine and Website. Emerson Media, n.d. Web. 13 June 2015.
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