Censoring Books: An Evaluative Essay.
Some people feel our world is corrupt due to what is between the cover of a book. They feel words inspire immorality and sinful actions. Their objective becomes a war against controversial books. These people feel they are protecting themselves, their families and communities from perceived injustices and evil, and preserving the values and ideals they would have the entire society embrace. The problem with this justification is it includes the values and ideals only they, the censors, would embrace. Democracy is not defined by one man stating what he feels is right for society; rather, it is what the majority of society feels is right. The freedom of expression is one of those rights. By censoring or banning books because of subject matter, language usage, or violent situations, a person's rights are being violated. .
Oscar Wilde said, "The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its shame."" When books are banned, it demonstrates a refusal of censors to look at the world with open eyes. They turn away from the truth, just as they turn away from the words on a page. Even history text books can be controversial. The Civil War is a topic frequently altered to reflect a North or South bias. For example, a grade school in Georgia may have a very different account of the Battle of Bull Run than a school in Illinois (Cain). Misinforming children should be under scrutiny, not how well a culture is portrayed. Adequate, quality material should be available to children. Ignorance can only hinder the development of the future; therefore, denying a child knowledge by censoring a book hinders his development. To prevent children from knowing about the world and human nature is unrealistic. History teaches students the events that shaped the world. Materials should not be altered or discarded because of different partisan or doctrinal views.