Monday, April 14, 2014

Banning Is The True Obscenity

Banning Is The True Obscenity

Marine Adam Kokesh describes the proposed ban on curse words to be “more offensive, vulgar, and obscene than any curse word.” Madeline L’Engle echoes this sentiment when she says, “You have got to be very careful of banning. What you ban is not going to hurt anybody, usually. But the act of banning is.” L’Engle relates this to Hitler banning books and then eventually killing people. Throughout this class I have come to the conclusion that many books are banned because they do not fit into a neat “box.” The box usually being the standards and customs of society or a particular group. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was banned because it challenged the society’s ingrained customs (as well as other issues, such as the continual use of the n-word). Twelfth Night was banned because the characters did not fit into the neat gender boxes. A Wrinkle In Time is often challenged because it not Christian enough or, paradoxically, not secular enough. It mixes science with religion. L’Engle’s works refuse to be “pigeonholed.” Hettiga attributes L’Engle’s messiness as being part of her appeal. She can reach out to many different people, and in some cases, reach out to many different interests and facets of a single person.

            Hitler wanted to eliminate diversity. He hoped for a world with one type of person. This is why books are so dangerous; they can challenge a person on many different levels. A book can often be whatever a person needs it to be, or it can be whatever a person looks for it to be. One example of this is seeing links to a Nazi Youth rally to The Polar Express. The critic admits that maybe she sees this because that was what she was looking for. Yet I believe sometime books are meant just to be books, especially for children. In A Wrinkle In Time, I think that it is extremely unimportant to categorize the book. It is a children’s book, but it can also be enjoyed by adults. It has elements of adventure, ethics, religion, science, and many other subjects. As L’Engle states she is foremost an author, this book is foremost a story. It does not matter how it is categorized, it still teaches basic ideals and concepts. There is a universality to this book that supersedes whatever box someone might attempt to cram it into. I think children reading books is essential. They come to books with open minds and hearts, ready to take from it whatever they can find (sometimes that might just be the pleasure of a good story).

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