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Censorship of Childrens Books: The Giver by Lois Lowry - Essay Example

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Summary
The very concept of censorship opposes the fundamental freedom of speech, thoughts and ideas. In general, all kinds of communication are limited to some extent because people censor themselves before deciding what to write in a letter or a book…
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Censorship of Childrens Books: The Giver by Lois Lowry

Download file to see previous pages... The core reason of censorship is not restraining expression of people, but to protect them. Some of the advantages can be avoidance of plagiarism, restriction of vulgar and obscene materials, hiding sensitive military data from enemy states and so on. However, opponents of censorship argue on many elements like human rights are violated and excessive control is exerted on people’s fundamental freedom of expression. This paper discusses about censorship of children’s books with special focus on banning of The Giver by Lois Lowry. Censorship of children’s books Arguments Censorship can be more accurately defined as “government restriction or legislation of materials, including the banning of books” (Hintz & Tribunella, 429). In other words, censorship is restriction imposed by a governing authority over the access of contents of a book according to the age and status of the intended readers (Hintz & Tribunella, 430). There is a significant role of censorship and selection in the books meant for children and young adults. Censorship of children’s books happens when an entire book or a portion of it is considered inappropriate for children or young adults, and decision is taken by appropriate authorities to prevent children from reading it. Those who advocate censorship consider this as a necessary step to exert control over books and literature that are especially written for children and young adults so that they are not exposed to vulgar or adult stuff. These supporters of censorship believe that certain ideas and expressions need to be controlled that have the potential to corrupt the young minds. Moreover, by censoring books, writers promoting racism and sexist ideas can be curbed. Also, books are censored to avoid children from seeing unwanted stuff like photographs portraying violence. Those who oppose censorship believe that this practice violates the right to free expression by the Americans, which is agreed by the U.S. constitution. These people believe that a single group assigned with the task of making decisions on censorship does not have the right to decide on behalf of everyone that what books or parts of books are inappropriate for children and young adults. Opponents of censorship argue that it is the responsibility of parents to decide on their children’s behalf what they can or cannot read. They also assert that it is not right to criticize materials for the simple reason that they are ahead of time (Magoon, 8-11). Impact of negative reading Censorship of children’s books arises from the concept that children and young adults should be separate from the world of adults. Children are considered as innocent and should not be exposed to the pressures and vagaries of adulthood. Texts and pictures are considered as adult materials when they are deemed inappropriate to be seen by children and young adults like books on the subjects of violence, racism, sexuality, drug use, social upheaval and political controversy. Such books are often banned in its entirety or else chapters containing such materials are banned from publication in order to protect the innocence of childhood. The importance of censorship of children’s books lies in the fact that young readers get negatively affected by violent and provocative ideas or images they find in a text. It cannot be denied that works of literature can adversely affect children and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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