Books & Why They Were Banned
Books & Why They Were Banned
I’ve wanted to discuss this topic for a while in the miscellaneous section of my blog. The topic tonight is about the shocking and somewhat silly reasons why books are banned or challenged. We’ve all read banned books even if we never knew it. I am for all the freedoms we have here in America especially the freedom to write and publish what we choose. If there is a book that goes against my values or it’s not my cup of tea I have that right not to read it, but I believe every author has the right to send their stories out into the world like ships sailing the sea. Some of these novels I knew were banned for a long time and others I did not know about until recently. The reasons some of these novels were banned were shocking. Some of the novels listed here I found info from Facebook, and Google. Here is a link of where I got some of my information and there are books on that list that I did not mention. https://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/classics there are other novels that I knew were banned for a long time long before I searched for anything.
The Harry Potter Series
The Harry Potter Series was banned due to the sorcery aspect. Many Christian parents of all denominations thought the series promoted Satanism and the occult. Harry Potter basically had magic wands there was no Satanism in the novel at all. My best friend Katelyn and I are Catholics and she recounted to me about how when she was growing up, parents read too much into the Harry Potter series promoting Satanism and the occult. I remember my time in elementary school a boy who I was close friends with had to leave the room because his mother who was an evangelical Christian did not like the idea of Harry Potter.
James and the Giant Peach
I found out last week from the Facebook page Because all the Books that James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, was banned and challenged for apparently being too scary for young children. The novel promoted mysticism had the word ass in it. There were references to tobacco and alcohol. The novel promoted disobedience and promoted drugs and communism. Oh goodness! I remember reading “James and the Giant Peach,” back in elementary school and all I remember is it was about a lonely abused boy named James who escaped with a bunch of bugs on a giant peach to New York. James didn’t disobey his aunts and his aunts did get squished by the giant peach. I also don’t remember any communism or drugs in the novel. I will say I read “James and the Giant Peach,” and I can promise you I’m not a smoker or a drug addict.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Another one of Roald Dahl’s classics were on the banned book list and it’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” apparently promoted “a poor philosophy of life” and Charlie was too positive and had no negative traits. Some characters can be Mary Sue’s but being a positive person and having a positive attitude is better than being negative all the time in my opinion. Does it mean we ignore our problems? No. But we can’t be a Debbie downer either.
The Wizard of Oz
Once again this was also a shocking bit that I found out from the book page Because all the Books the reasons why “The Wizard of Oz,” by Frank L. Baum was banned. The novel according to those who wanted to ban it contained no real value for readers. There was concern over animals having human emotions and characteristics. Apparently there were complaints about Dorothy and how strong of a female character she was. It’s impossible for Glinda to be a good witch due to it being theologically impossible due to all witches being evil. “The Wizard of Oz,” does have great value for readers. Dorothy tells the Scarecrow no matter how grey her home was she wanted to go back. The story is basically telling us that home is where the heart is whether it’s somewhere new or somewhere you’ve lived all your life. “The Wizard of Oz,” is also considered the first American Fairytale. Fairytales remind us that through hardships if we never give up on our dreams if we keep persevering we will get what we want and deserve. Also the dragons that exist in our world are our doubters our enemies and we can rise above them like these fairytale characters.
The Kite Runner
“The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini I knew was on the banned books list. There are several reasons why “The Kite Runner,” was either banned or challenged. Some felt that it promoted Islamaphobia. There were others who did not like the sexual content which includes the rape of Hassan. Some felt the language was offensive. There were also others who felt that it would promote violence. The novel is actually banned in Afghanistan but I remember reading it in highschool. The novel while it is fiction spoke about Afghanistan pre-Taliban era, touched on the Russian invasion and then the eventual brutal Taliban take over. So there is history in there. There is also a lesson about friendship and what it means to stand up for yourself even when you’re scared to death. I could relate to Amir in a sense that we were both doormats for the longest time and we have dreams that not everyone is supportive about, but we also had people who did support us and if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be out here making our dreams come true. We eventually rose above it all and stopped taking garbage from anyone, so this is one of those books that have a special place in my heart.
Apparently “1984” by George Orwell was banned in the Jackson County Florida County for claiming the novel was “pro-communist” and had sexually explicit content. The novel was trying to warn society to not go in the socialist or communist direction. People in that novel were being watched and speech was controlled. Yes Winston and Julia did have sex but it wasn’t pornographic.
The Lord of the Rings Series
This series being banned and challenged definitely shocked me. Apparently there are some Christians who found the novel satanic. I haven’t read the novels myself though I plan to someday. From many of my friends who have read it they can vouch it’s not satanic. In fact J.R.R. Tolkien shares the same faith as I do we are both Roman Catholics. Catholicism was a huge part of his fantasy stories and it wasn’t in your face. In fact the Tolkien estate and Tolkiens family were extremely upset about the movie Hollywood released about Tolkien a few years back. It wasn’t accurate about his life and Tolkien said explicitly that “Lord of the Rings,” was not inspired by World War I. Last I heard his estate planned to sue Hollywood and I hope they do and I hope they win.
“Satanic Verses,” by Salmon Rushdie was banned and challenged in the following countries Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Quatar, Indonesia, South Africa, and India because of its criticism of Islam. In Venezuela, owning or reading it was declared a crime under penalty of 15 months’ imprisonment.
In Japan, the sale of the English-language edition was banned under the threat of fines.
The governments of Bulgaria and Poland also restricted its distribution.
In 1991, in separate incidents, Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator, was stabbed to death and its Italian translator, Ettore Capriolo, was seriously wounded. In 1993 William Nygaard, its Norwegian publisher, was shot and seriously injured. Recently Salmon Rushdie was stabbed in the eye and was rushed to the hospital. I hope and pray he is doing well. This is scary considering that cancel culture has gone so far as to his life being at risk because he was critical of a religion. I am Catholic and there are authors who I disagree with because they are critical of my beliefs. One example is now deceased British writer Hilary Mantel. I may not agree with her views on my faith, but again she has the right to have those views and to write what she wants. I do hear she was a brilliant writer.
“Animal Farm,” another George Orwell classic was also banned and challenged. Once again people felt Orwell was pro-communist. I think it’s ridiculous because the story of these animals was an allegory of The Russian Revolution and then the communists taking power. The Farmer was the allegory of Czar Nicholas II and the pigs were the allegory of Vladamir Lenin and his communist followers. “Animal Farm ,” was Suppressed from being displayed at the 1977 Moscow, Russia International Book Fair. So if George Orwell was “pro-communist” as these misguided people claimed he was, then why was “Animal Farm” banned at the Russia International Book Fair where at that time Russia was very communist?
While there is a lot more books I want to discuss on this list and why they were banned and why I think it’s stupid we would be here for the rest of our lives. My view is no book should be banned or cancelled. No author should be harassed and receive death threats or get physically attacked for them. There are books that I know I won’t bother reading because they go against my values and beliefs, but I will not deny someone their right to read what they like.