Banned Book Week takes place from September 18th to 24th. Although the average college student may not take courses that require extensive literature reading, picking up a book is still an enriching and enlightening experience for people to enjoy. And no better book to pick up and start this week with than a banned book!
College students’ curriculum prohibits little, but paying attention to the books banned in high school can provide a glimpse of fascinating literature. While a book being pulled from the shelves may have sexually explicit reasons, they are often books that are political and provoke thought about government or current humanities issues. Examples include 1984 and Brave New World.
Additionally, To Kill A Mockingbird is a prime example of a novel that challenged racial injustice in American society through an honest lens and was banned for doing so. Still, this book can be eye-opening and impactful when it comes to creating well-rounded 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 they challenge the reader’s thinking much more than the average fantasy series.
Reading banned books gives audiences a chance to put themselves in the shoes of characters different from themselves — it can provide a new understanding that a news program or history textbook cannot, via a format that includes vocabulary and builds intellect.
Banned books can also address issues students may face, such as racism, sexism, and homophobia. The book might provide the representation they need, but the demand for representation of oneself also extends beyond the walls of high school, making this book an enriching one at every stage of life.
Currently, collaborative books facing ban are an issue for people of color and the LGBTQ+ community, and banning these books is a form of community oppression. Banning books can be seen as limiting 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 create empathetic citizens. It is important to be aware of what schools are trying to censor or we may find ourselves in ‘1984’ society. Of course, we wouldn’t know if we hadn’t read the book.