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Censorship - Essay Example

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English November 16, 2011 Censorship Censorship can be perceived as a system of “policy of restricting the public expression of ideas, opinions, conceptions, and impulses, which have or are believed to have the capacity to undermine the governing authority or the social and moral order which that authority considers itself bound to protect” (Abraham 357)…
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Download file to see previous pages There has always been a conflict regarding this issue as many people argue for and against drawing a protocol of guidelines on what can be said on the mass media. From the beginning of civilization, censorship has been used by groups as well as individuals to prevent and control artistic creations, information and ideas. The main causes of censorship are religion, politics and sex related issues. Censorship is particularly dominant in libraries, especially school libraries. The relationship between the libraries and censorship has always been tumultuous. The banning of certain ideas, thoughts and information in libraries as well as media is unconstitutional as the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and of the press. No individual or groups should forbid anyone from accessing information. As such, censorship should not be done in libraries as it restricts access to literature and is unconstitutional to limit the intellectual freedom of knowledge. Censorship is authoritarian and it hampers to the growth of literature. It is unjustifiable for libraries to limit the access to knowledge and dictate what is right and wrong in the works of literature. Censorship also undermines the faith of the intelligence of the readers and at the same time oppresses free thinking. It not only obstructs the growth of literature but also, the development of creativity in students. There are also many rationalizations that are used by people in favor of censorship in libraries. One of the common arguments in favor of censorship is that the information or a piece of literature which are deemed as dangerous or misleading by the standard of authorities must be suppressed as they can corrupt the youth. People who are in favor of censorship are also of the view that students should not be subjected to controversial issues in literature as these may lead them astray. Censorships are also solely motivated by morality and the belief that exposure to violence in literature causes students to behave in a destructive ways. All these arguments do make sense. However, in reality this is an attempt to put students inside a bubble where they are protected from the issues of the outside world. There is no evidence to prove that fictional violence causes students to be become violent or that students who are exposed to violence in literature are prone to act violently. If literature is censored solely on the base of the actions of unstable people, no work of literature or art can survive. Many works of literature are banned in schools in the 90s: Of Mice and Men, Catcher in the Rye, The grapes of Wrath, Lord of the Flies etc are some examples. All these books are award winning classics and amazing literature in their own rights, which have the ability to influence people positively. Most frequently, books are censored by school libraries as they contain violence, sex, homosexuality and rebellious children. “Behind textbook controversies, are beliefs and values that encompass more than curriculum decision in classroom” (June 1). But, the real question is why should students be prohibited from reading books which have lesbians as the main character or about gay couples? It is not that students are not aware of such issues and the reality is that the libraries are just dictating a norm of regulated rules as to how an individual should behave in society. The libraries are acting as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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