by Kaitlyn Pease
Throughout my life I have loved to read. It has been my escape from reality. I put myself in the author’s books and look at life through the main characters eyes. As a teen I was required to read To Kill A Mockingbird in order to pass high school. As I am going through the banned books list online I notice TKAM is on this list. Yes this book is explicit, but it is real.
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.- Atticus Finch”
When I read the above quote I felt how real and raw it was. I feel that our students and society should be exposed to the rawness of books, and what is inside them. Schools and libraries have become familiar with book banning. Book censorship is the removal of a book from the shelf of a library. It can be enacted at the national or subnational level, and can carry legal penalties. Book banning is not only carried out because of the things people say but because it disrupts our view of traditional values. Book banning/book censorship should be stopped.
What are traditional values and what does it have to do with book banning/censorship? Traditional values refer to those beliefs, moral codes, and mores that are passed down from generation to generation within a culture or a community. Tradition or traditional values has a lot to do with book banning/censorship because as an individual we have our own traditional values and belief system that our parents have passed down to us. For an example as a child I was not censored with books. My mom is a bookworm and cannot stop reading, so she encouraged us to read as much as possible. My mom never limited us on the books we wanted to read, and never told us what we could and could not read. She encouraged every type of literature. But in society this may not be acceptable, and it may be against people’s traditional values, so in order to make everyone happy books get banned/censored.
The reason books get banned/censored is because some traditional values are being compromised. Some of the reasons books are being banned/censored is because they contain profanity, violence, sex or sex education, homosexuality, witchcraft, new age philosophies, portrayals of rebellious children, or politically incorrect racist or sexual language. All of these things can be compromised in traditional values. It should not come down to book banning/censorship in order to keep our traditional values. Books teach students and adults about life in ways that others cannot teach these things. Sometimes it takes reading a book to fully understand a concept or to understand how the world perceives something, even though this book is filled with racist or sexual language, or violence. Books should be cherished and held onto just like our traditional values.
Some may believe that books should be banned/censored and I can understand why. There is a lot a child can learn from a book, but eventually they are going to learn it whether or not their parent tells them or if someone at school tells them. Some books are too explicit for children to read especially at a young age. For an example I used to work at a daycare and in one of my classrooms there was a book about our body parts, and at first the book was really cute, it was asking the children where are your fingers, where is your nose, where are your ears, etc. and then I flip to the next page and it is asking where our privates are and at that age I did not believe that was appropriate so I took the book out of the classroom. I did not throw the book away or ban it from the daycare because I do believe that at a certain age children need to learn about their body parts and children start to become curious and ask about their parts, so in a way that book is perfect for when the time is right.
Some books do not hold on to one’s traditional values, and it may scare them to accept the fact that our traditional values are changing. Banning books helps keep our world look safe, and it withholds our traditional values. I am for traditional values, as I withhold some as well. I understand why some may want to hold onto these traditional values, and compromising them with books that withstand their values is not best fit. Some books are not met for everyone, and if not reading them best suits one, then so be it. I do see where book banning/censorship can come into play but is does not need to come to that extent where book banning should be happening to protect our traditional values.
Books have impacted me greatly through my personal life and through my education. If it were not for books I could have not escaped when needed, I could have not learned things that I needed to learn. Books play a significant role in lives, and book banning/censorship should be put to a stop so people can experience books and learning to its fullest.
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” ―Haruki Murakami