Monday, October 15, 2012

Naughty, Naughty

Have you read Lord of the Rings? How about The Great Gatsby or The Catcher in the Rye? If you have then you are reading banned books.

In honor of Banned Books Week (Sept. 30) here are the top twenty banned "classic" books according to the American Library Association (ALA).

1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway

Why are books banned in the first place? According to the ALA some books like The Grapes of Wrath are banned from school libraries because of "vulgar" words, while others like The Great Gatsby contain "sexual references."

Have you read any of these books?

Do you think your life has been enriched by reading banned books? What did you learn? Do you ever think it is appropriate to ban books from the school library?

63 comments:

  1. Leilani M. SaltibanOctober 15, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Yes I have read a few of the books listed such as The Catcher in the Rye, The Color Purple, Beloved, 1984 and Brave New World. I think life has been enriched by reading banned books because it explores the mind by reading something from out of the ordinary or out of a person's comfort zone. I learned that we must be mature about the material we read and, although, it includes bad, adult material, it is a book that deals with reality. Vulgar language and sexual references is part of the real world in which many have encountered before. I think it is appropriate to ban book from the library for certain ages. Obviously, this material is not suitable for the young age but it may interest those of the older ages.

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  2. From this list of the top twenty banned books, I have read all of them but As I Lay Dying and The Color Purple. With reading these books I feel as if that they did open up my mind to new ideas and writing styles. Which were very enjoyable and at times helped me inspire my own voice witin my writings. I have definetly learned that with becoming a great writer, one must build the skill of imagery to draw in the audience even more. Along with just helping me become a better writer, these books have enriched my awareness of important milestones in literature. This has led to very engaging conversations with strangers that have helped me create new friends and meet others with similar interests.

    In my opinion, I feel as if the ALA should not control what readers are allowed and not allowed to read. For some people and depending on where they live, their local library is the only source of books availible to them. At a certain point it resricts what one can have access to and begin to control ideas that readers can be affected by.

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  3. Yes, I have read most of these books. I feel that my life has been enriched by these because they touch on real life and universal themes that the reader can relate to. Each one of these books had taught me or made me aware of something, such as George Orwell's 1984 which talks about how society has become blind to government control. With themes like this I can see why books become ban, however I don't believe books should be ban from school library's because they teach important lessons and make readers aware of societies problems. If these books were censored or edited then their messages would not have as great of an impact.

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  4. Yes I have read most of these books. I feel like I have been enriched by most of these books. In my opinion I love Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck. His book just moved me and made me just want to put down the book at all. Besides if this book is banned from schools, why isn't Harry Potter banned or the Hunger Games? They too have vulgar language, sexual content and death in it as well.

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  5. I have only read three of these books, The Color Purple, Of Mice and Men, and Animal Farm. Reading these books were not life changing but they did take the boredom away. My life would be exactly the same, if I have never read those books. I did not learn anything from the books, but reading the books did make high school easier. Although, I did not learn anything from them it is not okay to ban books. These books were made to entertain and help people, why would anyone take that away?

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  6. The books I have read on this list are To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, and Ulysses.

    I think that life is enriched by reading banned books because they sometimes or always have a moral behind them. You learn some real life situations and see how the people living them react or how they end up. Some of my favorite books are on this list and they were the most that got me thinking after I was done reading them. Those books will be The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird. Both of them were from different eras but they were both really good. They both showed different situations, one of them was about racism, and the other one was about lying and cheating. They both had good life lessons to learn about.

    I think it is not appropriate to ban books from the library because I think that everyone should be free to read whatever they want, and should not be limited on what to read. Reading banned books puts our mind to work because we are not used to reading books with "bulgar words or sexual content". But that is how it is in real life so we should let banned books be read to show or prepare students of real life.

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  7. All throughout my school years form elementary school to senior year of high school; I would always be in a library. Reading any book I could get my hands on allowed me to make it all the way to college. Having read works like The Lord of the Flies by William Golding allowed me to see the world and the workings of society in a different light. I learned that life is not always easy and people need to establish a more mature outlook on life in order to survive. The banned books are appropriate for students that are high school level and over and should not be banned because these works enrich society to different aspects of culture and newer perspectives to hopefully create better people.

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  8. Reading is an activity that most people enjoy and value in their lives. However, when it comes to disagreeable themes, many individuals, instead of treasuring the value of reading, decide to ban these books entirely. During my time at Mission San Jose High School, I was assigned to read some challenging books that really had an impact on how I viewed the world. I have read To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, and Animal Farm. My favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird. This book has taught me important lessons in putting myself into another person's shoes and showing compassion towards others. Atticus Finch has been the most admired character in this book. Not only is he a good father to his two children, Jem and Scout Finch, he also teaches them good virtues such as kindness, respect, fairness, and perseverance.In addition to this, he also demonstrates these virtues through his actions and words towards others.Because of his good qualities,the whole town of Maycomb looks up to and greatly respects him. Atticus Finch is an excellent example to read about. I do not think that banning books from the school library is ever appropriate. Any book could have a valuable theme that humankind needs to learn. If more books continue to be banned,more of society will miss out on the numerous opportunities to live and grow as a person.

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  9. yes i have read to kill a mockingbird and brave new world, and beloved. these books helped me look at more perspectives than other books have. from reading brave new world i been enriched in the idea of a Utopia. beloved made me look at a new perspective

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  10. I've read two of the books from the list which are Of Mice and Men and The Great Gatsby. I believe that even though there is vulgar in these books, it helps you understand the book better. Libraries shouldn't ban these books because everyone is free to read about whatever they choose and since schools are allowing students to read the books as assigned reading, then who are they trying to prevent from reading the book?

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  11. I have read The Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, and Animal Farm. I would definitely say these were the better group of school books. I would say that my life has been enriched because I didn't understand communism until I read Animal Farm. Then it all made sense to me. I don't think that it is appropriate to ban books from school libraries because it's the student's choice whether or not he/she wants to read that book. If he/she reads "vulgar" or "sexual references" in a book, the student can easily decide to put it down and not read it. We are all going to hear and see "bad" things sooner or later.

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  12. I have read most if not all books listed on the "banned books" Most of those which are actually my favorite works of literature. I feel these books were probably banned because they contained an important message that challenged the inherent status quo of society. For example 1984 which was inspired by Stalin and his totalitarian government. It heeds a warning to future generations as to what Orwell believes the world will be (again). Another example is Animal Farm, the animals are tired of the oppressors (humans) and decide to revolt which send the message of revolution to readers, in the end power gained by the animals made them the same as their old greedy corrupt exploiters. Ultimately these books challenge and spur ideas, maybe that's why they were banned because of its social controversy that might be a bit to explicit for the average mind.

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  13. From the list above of books above I have read 8 of them. To my surprise I did not know that some where banned books for all the books that I have read I read them in high school. These books opened my minded about a lot of different things. At high school in my class we had many discussions that included capitalism, utopia, word choice, and the evolution of literature among other topics. These topics obviously stimulated my mind and made me question things like the government.

    I do not think it is appropriate to ban books but I think people who ban them are doing the book a favor. People are more eager to know why a book was banned so they decide to read it. So in that way it benefits these books to be banned. These books should not be banned because they stimulated ones thinking.

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  14. Books being banned is the dumbest thing I have encountered in school. It is banning words that an author wrote. We are not a socialist country for one. We don't need to eliminate some of the best books from students. For me my favorite book I ever read is on that banned books list. That book is 1984. It provided insight to what George Orwell was thinking and how right he was. It is scary that he was so right. It made me realize how much we as people are being watched without knowing or caring. Ironically enough 1984 was trying to prevent a socialist like society and it is now being banned from school libraries for being "inappropriate".

    What I want to know is what these people think that is so inappropriate? What kids going crazy all by themselves on an island in Lord of the Flies is too much? Racism in a novel is hurtful? No it is history, it adds to the story, it makes the book one of the best. If these people want to censor things, how about starting with music and Jersey Shore, which kids are now exposed more now than to books. Reading isn't my favorite but novels on that banned list, are some of my favorites.

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  15. I think that books shouldn't be banned. If someone does not like what is being written then the person should not read the book. If you don't like bad words then there is no reason for you to read a book with that. I think books are banned because there are controversial issues that are being addressed, there are bad words used, or there is sexual references.I do not think they should be banned because all those things are out there in the real world and we are all faced with those things sometime in our life. I have read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and I actually liked the book and thought there was nothing wrong with it. When books are banned people start to judge and think that those books must not be good enough to read. The truth is that a lot of the banned books are really good and a lot of people won't realize that because they see them as "bad books". What is inappropriate to someone else might not be for someone else, it all depends on the person and I don't think that the American Library Association should say if books should be banned or not. There are a lot of worse things out there than The Color Purple, like music, television shows, movies, and even some commercials.

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  16. I have read my fair share of some of these titles some being; The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, and Of Mice and men. Honestly,it is ridiculous that some of these books have been banned. I don't think my life has been greatly enriched since reading these books, but it sure hasn't brought me any harm. If anything I found them interesting, they are nothing I have read before. It's kind of interesting reading the stories of the old days. In fact, it comes to a shock that a quarter of these books have been banned in school library when in all the books that I have listed previously I have read at school. I don't think schools should ban these books, they are works of art written in the old days. If we allow this, who knows maybe our books are going to get banned in the future...

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  17. Banning books such as those which are written by such great writers is truly a shame. A large portion of these books helped me kick start my reading habits in high school and middle school if it wasn't for them i would still probably stay away from reading. I normally stayed away from books because i though they were boring at first and i always stayed away from them due to my dyslexia. A large portion of the books on that list are the reason i discovered books could actually be fun, while other books i read normally put me to sleep these books always kept me going back for more. These books helped me expand my vocabulary and helped me better my writing skill and although my writing may be horrible now it was far worse 4 to 5 years ago.

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  18. I have read a few books from the banned list such as The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Of Mice and Men. In my opinion I do not think it is right for schools to ban books for any reason. Most of the banned books that I read from the list end up being some of the best books that I have read in my life. To me these show you how life used to be. Such as in the Great Gatsby it showed me how life used to be in the 1920's. These books did not do any harm and they should not ban books. They should not be banned because these books are amazing books and everyone should read them.

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  19. Yes i have read some of the books on the list like To Kill a Mockingbird,Lord of the Flies and The Color purple.In my personal opinion i don't think that books should be banned in public libraries or at schools because they give a different view on literature.Life can definately be enriched by these banned books beause it shows how things used to be and it shines a different light on others perspectives on writing. Reading these books taught me to think outside the box and to think the way i want. No book should be banned but certain boks should be placed in it's appropriate section of the library or school library due to age groups.

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  20. Wow, i find it surprising that most of these books have been banned by some schools considering that i have read more than half of them. I have read The Great Gatsby,
    The Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath,
    To Kill a Mockingbird, The Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, Brave New World, Animal Farm, and The Sun Also Rises. I didn't find any of these books offensive at all. I did know that some of them had been banned in some schools. I think the only reason some of these books have been banned is because certain groups of people don't agree with the topic or main idea of the books, but that doesn't mean they should be banned. That is not really their call. Every student should have the opportunity to read these books because i have found them all to be quite interesting. These books actually grabbed my attention and got me to do my reading homework every night. All these books i read in my Honors English class my junior year. Over all i find it ridiculous that they have been banned.

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  21. I could understand why these books were banned because some of them DO have vulgar language that's not fit for some students. Although, most students that do read these books are in high school and I believe are mature enough to read these books. For example, I read most of these books throughout high school and most of my friends have read it without any problem. I actually thought they were really good books and most people I know enjoyed reading it in class. I think they should be banned from middle schools and not high schools because middle school students may not be mature enough to read them.

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  22. After going through the list, I am actually surprised to see what books are offensive enough to be banned. For example, in my freshman year of high school we read Of Mice and Men, and I understand how some people can find certain events disturbing. But they weren't too offensive and it wasn't anything that my ninth grade class couldn't handle. I was also really surprised seeing The Great Gatsby, I remember reading this book my junior year of highschool and I instantly loved the plot. I can see where people find the offensive nature in it but given the age of the kids in my class and the level of maturity, it wasn't too extreme. I believe that if these books are given to people at a certain age to read it shouldn't be an issue. The books should be distributed to crowds that are mature enough to handle the content.

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  23. I have read a majority of these books, and each book has one very strong message to the ready. I feel like when these books are banned the students are missing out on different cultures for say the 1920's in The Great Gatsby. Therefore the students will have to learn about the lifestyles in different ways like power points and taking notes. Personally I would prefer to learn through reading, although I love reading. It saddens me to hear that curent high school and junior high student do not get to experience the exciting stories and the culture and lifestyles of the past.

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  24. I have read a majority of these books during my high school years. I enjoyed these books because they have a different writing styles and interesting story lines. These are the reasons why these books are classic and top sellers. By reading these books, it gives me a clear explanation of what the world was like in that time period. It enriches my learning because I learn about that time period. I think it is pointless to ban books. Every book has a moral and people who want to read the book should have access to read the book.

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  25. The books mentioned in the article are all books that teach a certain moral and opens up the mind of the reader. I myself have read a number of books mentioned in the article and found them to be very influential. Banning the books from schools takes away a modern literature and language from many readers. It is pointless from banning the books because they are great books.

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  26. Most of the books that I have read in this list have, interestingly enough, been assigned reading during high school. I strongly agree that we have entered the age where we can appreciate great books for what they are, incendiary and inappropriate for dinner conversation. Books have been banned for many reasons throughout recorded history. As long as there has been dissenting opinion over the written or, more recently, typed text, there have been books that pushed the envelope of the status quo. Such books might depict gratuitous violence and sex. Some in power may feel that such depictions are too graphic, and therefore traumatic for a younger, more malleable mind to withstand. In a more historical perspective, someone may offer a different ideology than those in power, and therefore the material would be banned so as to stamp out any "alternative thinking" and keep the population's majority of the mind that those in power are already doing everything right.

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  27. I have read most of these "banned" books in high school. The books that I have read from this list are some of the best books I have ever read. They're well written with such a great story line which is probably why they assigned some of these specific books to us in high school. I believe books shouldn't really be banned. I mean that's why we have the freedom of speech right? To say what we want and write it out. If these books are banned for a reason, I don't understand why they are given to high school students to read. The only books that should be banned from a high school library are books that are truly inappropriate for teenagers to read, but these books are classics that I believe everybody should read.

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  28. I'd say this is a "grand" list, but "that's a word I really hate. It's phony. I could puke every time I hear it" and I'd have to ask myself "What would Atticus Finch do?" I'm proud to say that I've read every single one of these books, with the exception of "As I Lay Dying" by William Faulkner. These books have given me some of the greatest insight and life lessons that I never got while growing up in addition to some of the darkest humor I've ever gotten the honor to understand. I personally believe that literature allows a person to gain insight and experience from the journeys of characters from genuinely well-written books. Haha or you can just depress the hell out of yourself with the realization that life is just one giant monotonous cycle if you agree with what Hemingway tells us in "The Sun Also Rises."Ah he was just an angry war-boy wanting to compensate and be "manly", he was a great writer though haha. In terms of the question you brought up about books being banned I say "to hell with that!" Why in the world would you want to rob people of truly useful and life-enriching experiences of literary entertainment? Seriously, Orwell wrote "1984" to show the world what ignorance to the powers that be can do to society and don't even get me started on "Brave New World."

    These books are classics for reason and if people think its content is too "offensive", all the power to them because you shouldn't force things upon people, but schools shouldn't censor literary content if it doesn't agree with their collective beliefs and goals.

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  29. The books that have been banned are the books that I have read in high school and are one of my favorite books that I have ever read. The books I have enjoyed reading are The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill A Mockingbird, and Of Mice and Men. These books are classics and they should not be banned at school libraries because the moral of any of these stories are practically true in our lives. Banning these books would close our ideas and the way we think critically. To a certain extent, these books should be banned for students who are under the age of 13, roughly junior high school students. Other than that, it is crucial for high school students to read these "banned" books.

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  30. I have read almost all of these books, and most of them are my favorites. Its wrong to ban great literature because it is a little bit daring and bold. It seems worse to ban these books based on the negative apects than to focus on the positive. One of our rights is freedom of speech, and these books are just an expression of that. These books certainly enrich lives; they have taught me many things. It kind of makes me mad that these books are given a negative reputation in school libraries for being banned. I love all of these books, and I dont think it is appropriate to ban something so beautiful.

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  31. On this list of books, I have read: The Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath, The Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, and Animal Farm. All of those books I have read because they were required reading in my high school. I actually enjoyed some of those books so much that I reread them even after I graduated. My most recent read was The Catcher in the Rye, because I had acquired the Kindle version for free. I'm really glad that my school not only allowed us to read banned books, not even encouraged it, but went so far as to make it mandatory reading. I think it's really important for schools to do this, instead of just sitting back and being okay with information being hidden away they need to do things that may make some people uncomfortable (like "naughty" words). If we aren't doing things that make people feel uncomfortable, then we aren't growing as a society, and societal stagnation is more dangerous than high school students reading a few words that they probably already use in their everyday vernacular.

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  32. I have read three of these books in high school as required readings. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925), To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (1960), and Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck (1937) were all written before I was even born. Times have changed. The censorship back then and the censorship today are very different. I understand that school libraries don't want to get in trouble with the students parents over the content, and "vulgar" words that are in a book they borrowed from the school. At the time that these books were published there content could be seen as very inappropriate at the time. For example the "sexual references" in The Great Gatsby in the 20's would probably be seen as inappropriate, like the young women at the time going out to bars and drinking alcohol and having relations with men that they weren't attending to marry. I think that in today's American society these books could be put into school libraries without the fear of parents coming after them. These books are an excellent way for students to take a look into the past, and see how certain scenarios in different times were to play out, because of the historical period that they were apart of. For this reason I believe that these banned books could be enriching to ones life and that they should no longer be banned from school libraries.

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  33. I have read seven of the books listed. Many of them criticize society and point out the flaws that society has. I believe that they were banned because the people in society that were criticized did not like the fact that they were being publicly exposed by these authors. By reading these books, like any books, my life has been enriched. The fact that these books were banned at one point in time does not make them more enriching or educational. I believe every book can enrich a persons life no matter if it was banned or not. From reading these books I learned what was going on in society at the time that these books were written. To be more specific I learned what challenges or heated debates were going on in society and politics during that time. Many times it is okay to ban books from a school library because many books aren't appropriate for a school setting. Some books include books that have explicit content that is not appropriate for school aged kids.

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  34. I have five of the books mentioned above. I don't see a real reason why books are banned from the school library. I believe all books should be accessible to students. Students are mature enough to read books that have sexual references or anything "vulgar" in it. They are probably being taught worse things by the teacher themselves. Society is to blame for banning books because especially in these days, everything is looked at as wrong and unnecessary. That is why every year it seems like the student's education is being cut down because of what the Board of Education decides.
    I personally am not a fan of reading but I did learn from reading these books. For example, I learned how to detect irony and references when they are used. Also there is always a lesson to stories when being read. So I believe these types of books shouldn't be banned.

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  35. From the list of banned books above, I have read: To Kill a Mockingbird,The Color Purple, The Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, Brave New World, and A Farewell to Arms. After reading each of the novels, I did feel as though my life was enriched by the all the novels that I read. I believe books written nowadays do not enrich the lives of individuals as these banned books do. The vocabulary and phrases used in banned books requires readers to analyze the story more and involves more critical thinking. I believe that these books are banned from libraries because the majority of these books are read by high school students. Most high school students are under the age of eighteen; therefore, the vulgar language and sometimes "mature" settings are not appropriate for the younger audience. For example, in "A Farewell to Arms" the relationship between the two main characters can be seen as provocative and students who have not matured yet may feel uncomfortable. Another example would be the promiscuous characters in "Brave New World" and the racism in "To Kill a Mockingbird." I do not think it is appropriate to ban books from libraries because I think that everyone deserves to read whatever they want to read. Also, the books listed above are also listed in "100 Books You Must Read." I recommend the books that I have read because they have enriched my life.

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  36. I have read a lot of those banned books.It's interesting to see that books like Brave New Word, and 1984 are on that list. Those books were eye opening to me, and helped explain how the government can be such an influence in one's life. I felt the need to rebel against the rules and let my individuality shine through to the world. I loved how those books made me question how the government actually works, and it's no surprise that those are the ones being censored. Of mice and men was an amazing book. Made me realize what a foreshadowing actually looks like. It was the first book to bring tears to my eyes, because I was moved by Steinbeck's writing. Then The Great Gatsby was such an awesome book. I discovered the symbolism of everything down to the colors. All those books really got me into reading. It is extremely pointless to ban a book. If a book is banned, I would simply sneak the book and read it where no one can see me. Go ahead, ban a book. When people found out The Catcher in the Rye supposedly killed John Lennon, everyone wanted to read that book. I know I did. But, turns out it was about so guy complaining about his life. When I'm a parent, I definitely will let my children read anything they want (When they're of age of course).

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  37. I've read a few banned books, such as the Catcher in the Rye, 1984, and Brave New World. These were books I read in my junior and senior year of high school. Apparently they were good for us because they're excellent books to analyze. Our curriculum wanted to prepare us for college therefore these "banned" books were perfect to get little high school minds turning.
    The books I've read were very enriching to say the least. I just thought they were fiction and nothing more but the fact that it was banned means that there's a deeper meaning to those books within that time period.
    One of the things I've learned from reading these books is that, our future rides precariously on people in power and that the people of a nation should be much more willing to engage in politics.
    I don't see why they were banned at all actually. They may have been banned in the past because of reasons but now in the present, laws have changed. They shouldn't ban anymore books; they're a necessity.

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  38. Even though I am French, I did read some of those books in English (because I think that the content is often lost in translation). I found it interesting to read those books which are said to be classics. To me, classics are representative of a nation literature. Reading it allowed me to learn a lot about English culture and way-of-life. I really enjoyed reading some of those books, not all of them but still, I forced myself reading them. I did this because I am convinced they are part of a cultural basis everyone should have. They form common American knowledge. I do not understand why those books were banned from school, they are nothing but literature. Interpretation that some people make of it should not be a pretext to ban books from common learning. However, it does not mean that young pupils should be allowed to read anything. For instance, "Fifty Shades of Grey" is clearly not adapted for young readers. It is all about being reasonable in deciding what is appropriate or not for school readings.

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  39. From the list of banned books, I have read: The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, Animal Farm, and Brave New World. Reading these books all remind me of high school and how excited I would be to talk about these books after reading a chapter the night before. They were all great books to read because they had "vulgar" and "sexual references", these books kept students interested in reading and discussing these books. As high school students, we are surrounded by violence and sex all the time so reading books like this wouldn't change anything.

    Moreover, these books taught me about irony and imagination. They have allowed me to experience socratic seminars and allowed me to think critically about what I'm reading. Reading these banned books did not inhibit me from learning this is why I don't believe banning books from school libraries is a good idea.

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  40. 1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
    4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
    9. 1984, by George Orwell
    12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
    15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
    17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
    I have read all of the above during grade school. I read these books at a very young age, and I am sure I did not understand them. The critical thinking of these stories were very difficult to comprehend at the age of 14-17. I remember reading Lord of the Flies, and I couldn't help but think about the detail of the violence. The Great Gatsby was an amazing story but completely inappropriate, although the book taught me a thing about money, love and despair. I think of the stories at my age and know I understand why we were required to read them. The books were written by iconic writers, and that is something we should consider. Without a doubt I believe it would be awful to neglect these books from schools. Although I was confused about the readings at the time, I was absolutely honored to be reading such stories.

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  41. I read The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, and The Grapes of Wrath. I recently re-read The Great Gatsby and I understood more and felt differently. The Catcher in the Rye was hard to capture the theme even though I read that when I was in high school. The great thing about reading books is we can read them as many as we want and we do not have to have the same response to the book. As for The Great Gatsby, years later, I understood the historical background and Gatsby's internal turmoil more. Reading expands our thoughts and opens up our mind, creativity and imagination. It is hard to think of our life without reading books. Banning books would lessen creativity of human beings.

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  42. Yes I have read some of the books that are listed. Most of them I read during my sophomore and junior year in high school. I do not think that banning books enriches life because books are made to express one thoughts and reach out to an audience. This, in a way, violates the freedom that we are given from the First Amendment. From Lord of the Flies, I learned that even the most civilian and innocent people can turn into savages and become corrupt when placed into a harsh situation. It shows that children can be heavily impacted in dark situations and they would lose a sense of humanity. The Color Purple showed me that women need to stand up for themselves and that we are worth more than our looks and the belief that we were made to serve. The only books that should be banned in school libraries are any adult-related books that are not meant for young teenagers to read. Other than inappropriate material, I do not see any reason to ban a book because there are students who would get the book another way or the controversial book can create a love for reading to a teenager.

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  43. It is hilarious that most of these books are required readings in public high school. I have read many of them in various moods and stages of mind but overall I will declare that they have expanded my mind in a positive direction. This is not to ignore the blatant racism, hate, cruelty, and even extreme depression that some of these books allude to. Nevertheless, these things must be dealt with and experienced in safe environments and the classroom is very much one of those environments.

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  44. From this list of banned books, I have read The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Lord of the Flies, 1984, Of Mice and Men, Catch-22, and Brave New World. I do believe my life was enriched by some of these books in the fact that each of these characters in the books I have read had personal struggles that they battled to overcome in some way or another. 1984 was very inspirational in the fact that the main characters had no other choice but to change his perspective on life in a specifically horrific situation. This is the same with most of these books on this list. It seems that the authors tend to dig as deep as they can to reach a new level of personal comfort zone in the readers. Doing so helped the authors to grab my attention and put me in the characters’ shoes and think about what they had to do to reach their new view of life, be it good or bad. I do not believe it is appropriate to ban books from the school library unless it is over-the-top degrading. The fact that these specific authors put real-life situations (or situations that can relate to real life to some extent) into these stories is to open student's minds to the real world and I completely agree with what they are trying to teach us.

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  45. I think it's truly a shame that these books are being met with resistance nowadays, because every one that I have read has given me some valuable insight on life. In particular To Kill a Mockingbird, a book that had a large effect on me. I found it very engaging and filled with wonderful life lessons that I won't soon forget. There are plenty of things that people can focus on in an effort to better the world we live in, but we focus on banning books that could potentially give us valuable life insights? I think our efforts would be better placed somewhere else. These books contain real world subject matter, we can't teach fairytales forever.

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  46. A lot of States especially in the South believe that sexual behavior and vulgar words should be taken out of books. Most people in these States believe that these books have the same effect television does, and consequently wanting their kids to grow up proper and respectful, parents and government officials try to shield their kids from these vulgar prospective of American culture. As a college student I have read the following books so far: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Ulysses, by James Joyce, The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding , 1984 by George Orwell, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, Animal Farm, by George Orwell
    Growing up and reading Of Mice and Men, really taught me about how hard life can hit back. Hard work and dedication does not always get you to the top. A string of bad luck can always follow you no matter how hard you work in life.
    Reading Great Gatsby I learned an important factor of life, time does not stand still and no matter how hard you try people will never be the same. Money wealth and glamour does not mean anything if your purpose in life is to try and buy peoples affection.
    Growing up these books helped me learn life lessons before they happened to me. They were a warning that the American dream of happiness does not always happen. These books gave a sense of truth that your parents or teachers would never tell you. Banning these books will not do kids any justice growing up. These books will prepare them for the harsh world growing up.

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  47. I don't believe society should ban any books. What's the point? In my high school, I have actually been required to read a few of these. Reading banned books can enrich your life, as well as many unbanned books. Banned books were taken out of libraries because of language, or sexual content. But that's real life. These books represent our society as it grows, and they relate to those that are reading them. They should never ban books because we should have the freedom to read. I would much rather have society read books than watching these ridiculous shows on TV.

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  48. I've read at least half the books on the list above and can say they are good reads. Varying from title to tile, they probably have different reasons for being banned. However, these books contain a deeper meaning to a bigger picture. By banning these books people are essential censoring the authors ideas.Sure kids are immature in middle school and maybe then they aren't ready to grasp the deeper meaning in the above titles but at least in high school they should have a chance to be exposed to them. We need to shape kids minds to think for themselves, not how we want them to think. if we take away the privilege to read books such as these we are just sending myopic minded individuals out into the world.

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  49. Yes I've read some of these books. My favorite one would have to be To Kill A Mockingbird. Reading this book definitely changed me in some way. It teaches you valuable lessons and actually makes you want to know what happens next in the story. When it comes to banning books from school libraries, I feel that they have the right to ban certain books that definitely wouldn't be appropriate for the students.

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  50. As a reader of most of the books listed above, I believe that these books do indeed enrich many lives through their vulgar vocabulary and sexual content. Books that are being banned for excessive sexual content and use of vulgar words should not be the reason why libraries no longer carry them. Reasons why these books are listed as books read through school are because the connections they have with the learning ideas set to school standards that must be met. By focusing on the language and vulgarity of a book, it takes away from the true reason for reading these books; historical viewpoints and life connections. I do not believe that books should be banned from libraries because these books themselves are allowed in individual classes as a learning method, so why wouldn't they be available to read outside of class and within the library? I can understand that libraries probably wouldn't want to carry these books anymore for the younger ages due to their vulgarity, but school libraries do not focus on only one age limit. If these books become banned not only are the historical and connectivity to reality are dismissed, but the authors views and reasons for writing these novels are being banned themselves. As mentioned earlier on how these books have historical ideas, an example of this would be from "The Color Purple" where the struggle for African Americans were not only out from other races, but from within their own community.

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  51. Banning books happens when people are scared. They are frightened that certain books will corrupt our society and our youth. Never mind letting people actually think for themselves. That would just be out of the question. According to ALA the list of books banned from libraries had inappropriate language and suggestive topics. But if we block language or certain situation from the public is that really helping the community? Banning books from libraries is not a good idea for our society. There were a handful of books on that list that I read for fun or was assigned to read in a high school English class. I never felt like the context of any of the books I read was inappropriate to be reading enough to ban them in a library. One of my favorite books I read on high school was “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, it took you back in time and showed you that not everyone was giving a fair day in court. Of course there were some parts in the book young children should not be reading but as a young adult or older student I think this book helped you really understand how looking thru a child’s eyes what was happening in the United States in the era of vicious racism

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  52. I read both a Brave New World and the Great Gatsby and heard the tale of The Color Purple. I honestly have to say that stories like these have definitely enriched my life by giving me mental images of times, ideas before their time and broadening my view on the world. I can see why books like these may have been banned during conservative times where they didn't want kids to get any "silly ideas" when they should be concentrating on certain goals in life. References to sex often seemed to be avoided in pass times unlike now where our society is almost over sexualized. When people were afraid that text like these would have a strong impact on the minds of the public that would go against the ideals that were already in place or cause people to start thinking against the grain enough to make motions, they could ban books to prevent the populous from reading it. From the ones that I have read even if the reason for banning books like The Color Purple or The Great Gatsby had sexual references or content, it was not in a way to encourage others to be loose or to be immoral and go out to do the things mentioned in the book. There was a lesson to The Great Gatsby and there was a light at the end of The Color Purple even after all the tragedy and realness in it. These books were meant to educate us on something, give us a lesson or open up our minds to other possibilities, not to be crude. I read or heard most of these not knowing the point and the reason for the use of language or references until the end, but once I got to the end, I understood and my life was enriched.

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  53. I have only read The Lord of the Flies by William Golding from the list above and I’m sure the others listed are just as sublime. Because of reading this book, I have learned a lot about the creative context of classic books written with these “vulgar” words and sexual content. I learned that there is art in the language and detail used to write these books and their reading level is, of course, not for children. The story, moral, or idea behind these books are beyond the comprehension of an elementary student, which is why they should be on the shelves in the adult section of the library, not banned altogether for no one to read. It is entirely inappropriate for libraries to ban these books because it hinders high school students’ ability to learn and expand their knowledge on the subjects of these books that they should at least have access to in libraries.

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  54. I have read eight of the twenty books listed as banned books on this article, and all eight have been a stepping stone on which I have been able to heighten my understanding of socio-political worlds, economic disparities, and loss of innocence in the world. The books mentioned on this list all seem to have as a common characteristic the pointing away from established truths and pointing towards realities of life which are not pleasant, but that are nonetheless true. “The Great Gatsby” taught me that economic prosperity is possible if the cards are played right, but economic prosperity does not guarantee a life of enjoyment, and on the contrary it can lead to a life of inundating problems which prohibit leisure advantages of the prosperity. “the Catcher in The Rye” taught me that everyone goes through moments of frustration in their lives in which there seems to be no escape from plastic and artificial consolations, but that above all these moments there is a long line of men and women who have encountered and conquered frustration in a world which seems nothing but phony. “To Kill a Mockingbird” taught me that cultural differences can, and do, exist, but respect amongst each other can unite people in such a way as to provide a reason for people to continue fighting for ethnic equality. “The Lord of the Flies,” and “Of Mice and Men” taught me that children and mentally challenged people are innately good, but given the proper circumstances, they can be as evil as the most put-together adult that has ever existed; we are not much different from each other. “1984,” “Brave New World,” and “Animal Farm” taught me one very important lesson: No one on the face of this planet can, or should, dictate your life. All of these lessons have contributed to my understanding of a very different world than the one painted in grade school. Humanity is not built to be under the thumb of any institution or entity, it was created to produce together for the benefit of each other without any distinctions of social, economic or political nature. This is something all children should learn from an early age, and this is why books should not be banned, ever.

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  55. Among the 20 that are listed I’ve read: Catcher in the Rye, Ulysses, The Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, and Animal Farm, and the extent to which they’ve impacted my life vary pretty greatly actually. The two amongst these five that have significantly enriched my life would have to be Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies. I had read both of them with my sophomore English class and my teacher did a pretty incredible job of guiding us through the oceans of symbolism in both. Animal Farm was amazing for its audacity in how it poked fun at the Soviet Union and also for how it stands as its own story as well. The power that was granted to the pigs after the farm’s owner removal, the disillusionment with the pigs, and the “truce” with the rival group were some of the moments that resonated with me. Some of the most iconic memories that I’ll always hold dear to me from the Lord of the Flies would definitely have to be Simon’s “crucifixion”, the staked pig’s head, the actual killing of the pig by Roger, and so on. It’s safe for me to say that as a 16 year old it shook me to the core. It’s pretty clear as to why they were banned, Animal Farm for the derision of a core WWII ally who had already had rocky relationship with the United States, and the Lord of Flies with its religious parallels that even 55 years later (at the time) blew my mind. There should be some sort of uniform criteria to judge these book as there is with TV, Video Games, and Movies. Despite all of the problems that arise from sectioning, it is an effective way to monitor what our youth watch, and reading should have a similar framework in place as the exposure to certain elements at a point could fracture a young person.

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  56. I haven't read any of these books but I have read non classic banned books before. I don't think books should be banned. People should have the option of reading whatever they choose. I think there should be a suggested age group for the book but that should not limit a person's choice. School library's should not ban any books, and I have thought about this before, but books sometimes really help people. It gives people something to relate to, something to think about, entertainment, hope, etc. It is unreasonable for school library's to ban a book because the content is "inappropriate."
    My life has been influenced by many books that I read and it is possible that one of those influential books could have been a banned book. I've learned a lot from both banned and not banned books.

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  57. Banned books this, banned books that; of course I've read these books. They were required readings for the high school/middle school I went to. I don't know if they were placed on the banned books list afterwards, or what, but almost all the books you've listed I've "read." (And by read, I mean looked at and ignored due to the fact that I despise all required readings and tend to only have the attention span for Epic Fantasy books.) Either way, banning books in general should in itself be banned. Books are out there to be read, no matter what "content" they may contain, books are an entryway into a world much more insightful and amazing than anything reality could ever offer. Dragons, pigs head on sticks, sex-driven oppressive governments... you get the point.

    In my opinion, I think governments/school boards ban books due to their inability to accept that children are going to learn this "explicit" information on their own anyways. At the very least, give them a place where learning about it is both safe and supervised, not hidden and forbidden. These books teach more than just the crap that schools say these books are banned for. Personally, I've learned that I love writing because of the Lord of the Flies and how they wrote in journal entries. For the assignment I had along with that book, I got to write in the persona of one of the characters and from there I learned that writing is one of the most amazing ways to get information from inside your head, on to a paper that others can read.

    No matter what schools say, books should never be banned. Sexual themes? You could make sexual themes from a story about a banana; it's all about interpretations and if these "sexual themes" are instead seen as something thats important to the storyline or a way that government controls people, then the whole of "sex=bad influence" crap is no longer valid. It's valid in the sense that people are manipulated and then later lost in that manipulation. It's oppression that the book is about, not sex. Get over it!

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  58. Of the 20 books listed here, I have read 8 of them and I will admit that not all are appropriate for all ages and audiences. I do not agree that these books should be banned, rather, made available to different age groups. For example, If I read Animal Farm in the 5th grade, I would just think it was about animals, and not understand the metaphor that the book is for Soviet Russia and the issues going on during that time. My life has been impacted and influenced to some degree because of the books I have read not just in this list but in general. I do not think that any book should be "banned" rather just limited and made available to different people. I think this issue is brought up with many different types of entertainment whether it be television, music or even books. By banning these or any book takes away a person's chance to connect and relate to something outside of the real world. Books give anybody the opportunity to learn and in a way put aside all of their issues to just get lost in any book, and to take that away from anybody is unfortunate.

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  59. I don't think my life has been enriched by reading banned books, but I believe that I have a way better appreciation for these books which have the "vulgar" words or sexual references. They show us a different use of words to show the intensity of the emotion driven throughout the whole book. I did not learn much from reading these books except for new vocabulary, every time I don't know what a word is I look for the definition before I continue reading. As far as banning books from school libraries, I think it is ridiculous. I think it is ridiculous because students shouldn't be protected, I believe that these kids are going to experience or hear things that are similar to these stories that they are reading, even learning about these things in other classes. I also think that students shouldn't have to have a hold placed on their education spectrum.

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  60. I have read The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby in high school, and to be banned now in high schools is ridiculous. Those were assigned reading and part of the curriculum, where there is a lot to learn from the different styles of writing. For The Grapes of Wrath using "vulgar" words made the book interesting, because personally I found the book rather dry. The Great Gatsby on the other hand was a romance thriller that shows readers that not every piece of literature has to be about a hero saving the day. By banning these books from libraries is sheltering high school students from the real world. Once they graduate, there is no protecting them from getting involved in other concepts. They should read these books in high school to understand language, and not run away from something just because it is not appropriate.

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  61. Post by Cristofer Holobetz ENGL-123
    I have read six of the books on the list, and I can see why they were banned in some areas. Each of the books on the list, like all influential or significant literature, brings a new or controversial perspective to its subject. Often, enriching stories comment on themes that the average consumer might not want to think about. It’s easy to see why The Lord of the Flies, with its vivid descriptions of children committing atrocities towards each other, would turn some people away. But it is in the exploration of situations like this that a reader learns about him/herself. Though it’s seldom that a person finds him/herself in a situation akin to that in The Lord of the Flies, its explorations of human nature in the extreme allows the reader to uncover the fundamental aspects of his/her own humanity. This insight can then be applied more moderately to everyday life, but it can only be shown to the reader effectively in a polarizing way.

    I don't think books should ever be banned if they have a cultural, literary significance. At the same time, who's to judge that the benefits of a work outweigh its shortcomings?

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  62. I think it is intrinsically wrong to ban books. Even books written by some of the worlds most awful people should not be banned. In banning them you are trying to strike them from our history and saying "that didn't happen" or "those feelings were never felt". Books are where we humans store our knowledge, history, experiences, and emotions and to ban them and cause them to be lost is to destroy a part of are sometimes ugly history that should not be forgotten. Even if a book goes against the morels and beliefs of people during a certain time period it shouldn't be limited or taken from public libraries. It's wrong to ban knowledge and that's what banning books is doing.

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  63. I find this to be near immoral that we're allowing these bans to take place; they're literature for crying out loud. I find the ban incredibly ironic because one purpose of schools is to educate the students about words and their usage, yet when particular words are deemed "bad," then we automatically ban the entire masterpiece/classic. I have personally been affected by these books in a positive way. In elementary school I had finished reading all of the Lord of the Rings books, and I have become far more literate because of it. Without these "banned books" I would be far less effective at my writing all because someone was too sensitive to handle some slurs.

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