What does censorship mean? The term comes from the latin word censere, “to give as one’s opinion, to assess.” Applied to modern times, it is the oppression of ideas or information found as obscene, therefore restricted from an audience. The United States has asserted to stand for the liberty of its people, along with the promise to protect them. The protection includes censorship in books, movies, etc. The first book to be ever banned in the U.S. was in the 1600’s, and the banning of books has not stopped since then. A long list of banned books has built up, including J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and John Knowles’ A Separate Peace.
This paper will discuss how censorship denies citizens of the United States our full rights as delineated in the First Amendment. It will outline how and why the first amendment was created and included in the Constitution of the United States of America. This paper will also define censorship, discuss a select few legal cases surrounding freedom of speech and censorship as well as provide national and local examples of censorship.
Censorship is defined as “when a person of group successfully imposes their values upon other by stifling words, images or ideas” (Gould 2009). When we think of censorship, we think of the bleeping out of words on television and the radio. Sometimes we censor ourselves in conversation around small children or in a professional environment. However, most people do not think about the censorship of literature. A famous example is when Hitler would collect piles of books and burn them because they did not match the ideals of his regime. Today, there is an all-too-common problem surrounding the censorship of children’s literature. The American Library Association (ALA) states, “parents challenge books more than any other group” (Szymanski 2007).
Censorship in America is often debated. Erin Manning, texas-based writer explains that the American Library Association chooses to censor certain books because of “inappropriate content” and “second rate writing”(Manning 1). Parents attempt to protect their children from the outside world, by limiting their exposure to age appropriate language. When parents do this, their children’s knowledge of the outside world may be limited to what parents let their child view. Although some parents may feel that their child needs filtered information and entertainment, others believe that children and teens need to be shown uncensored content. Don Gallow, professor of English at Central Connecticut State, suggests that teens should be allowed to access
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”-Ray Bradbury. Censorship is the act of limiting information, ideas, or the freedom of thought, from life. Censorship can be used because of offensive, sensitive, harmful, or objectionable speech/ideas. In life, censorship is used a lot, more than people think. It also affects lives too. People barely notice it, or care for it, but censorship is there. Censorship has been used for a long time, it has a lot of history. Censorship is found in books, media, or any other form of expression. Censorship is powerful. Everyone should be aware of censorship. Censorship is a theme conveyed in the works of many, such as, I am Very Real by Kurt Vonnegut, Harrison
To start off, censorship is a controversial issue which dates back to ancient times, in ancient cultures for a multitude of reasons. However in America recently, older persons have tried to limit, filter, and censor what the youth have had access to. This includes print
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, is a uniquely shocking and provocative novel about a dystopian society set in a future where reading is outlawed, thinking is considered a sin, technology is at its prime, and human interaction is scarce. Through his main protagonist, Guy Montag, Bradbury brings attention to the dangers of a controlled society, and the problems that can arise from censorship. As a fireman, it is Guy's job to destroy books, and start fires rather than put them out. After meeting a series of unusual characters, a spark is ignited in Montag and he develops a desire for knowledge and a want to protect the books. Bradbury's novel teaches its readers how too much censorship and control can lead to further damage and the repetition of history’s mistakes through the use of symbolism, imagery, and motif.
Censorship has been a topic of debate for decades. Despite the existence of the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech, the United States has a long history of censoring literature. Most Americans believe that it is unethical to stifle freedom of expression, but often some of the First Amendment’s biggest supporters are its worst enemies. It shocks many to see how rampant it still is in the present day. This paper will show examples of how governments, religious institutions, and schools try to limit first amendment rights through censorship.
Censorship can affect everyone in the world in many different ways. In the case of the book “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, it has a negative effect on the city. The government banishing the books from society is taking away the power of knowledge from the people. Knowledge is a way of power and with that, the more knowledge one has the more power they will have. This is also the case in slavery in the U.S in the 18th century. Information is key to a humans life and it build their life. An example is the book “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” Information is power and if it is taken away from someone their power goes with it.
Censorship is the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable,
The world gets crueler everyday. There are new crimes being committed daily, and sometimes it can be because of what people are subjected to. In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, this topic is discussed. In order to create a more positive environment, the world needs censorship. Without it, kids would be surrounded by bad influences, people would always find topics to argue about, and lives can even be ruined without it.
Depending on which way one may view a certain circumstance, everyone is a victims of censorship. Unwillingly volunteering our free thinking by a superior influence. Do people feel that we need to endure censorship? Over the course of the novel Fahrenheit 451, we see how censorship adapts one 's behavior. The public are banned from owning or reading books, there are many reasons for why people are so averse towards books and submit to the government. Entertainment such as, tv and radio play a big part in why most people do not independently think for themselves.The bigger reason is the sensitivities towards the “offensive” opinions written in these books that makes people submit to the goverments rules. This makes one either obey the authority and seeing what can happen to the world if they chose to let it stay the same or disobeying authority for change. Very much alike the recent occurrences where some college students have been rejecting the books they were given and are requesting new books and passages that are not offensive for the end result of softening and changing dated learning. On the other hand, there are new rules that are trying to make penitentiary’s “safer”, though adding specific approved “respectable” books for the prisoners to read and taking away their personal input on information. By restraining ones free state of mind and taking away the ability to learn for oneself will cause intolerant behaviors to submissify humanity 's search for meaning.
Censorship in America can vary between the silencing of young voices and the prevention of exposing others of inappropriate material. Many people are afraid of losing their freedom of speech, as first amendment rights should be mandatory for American citizens. Polar to this argument insists the importance of censorship, as it can shield the public from information that can lead to fear or chaos. Leaving students ignorant to world problems, however, is argued by Sonja West that it removes their first amendment rights and creates a future working-class of Americans who are clouded from the truth. West is a law professor at the University of Georgia who is distinguished for her expertise in the first amendment law and minor in journalism. In her article, “Censorship 101,” West crafts her text through numerous court case experience and skill in rhetorical devices as her background expertise is used to her advantage.
“A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon." (Bradbury 58) Censorship is the act of suppressing speech, works of literature, music, movies, work of arts, and ideas that are thought to be politically incorrect, offensive, and threatening to society. The United States Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances ( law.cornell.edu) However, historically, government officials and organizations have been “abridging” our freedoms since the inception of this
Censorship can be described as the act of cutting out certain material that can be considered obscene or inconvenient for the community. This material can be found in social media such as in the TV, radio, or the internet. Censorship can be challenged because of the first amendment: freedom of speech. Free expression is the right of expressing opinions and ideas without any fear of being restrained or censored. However, freedom of speech does not include the right to incite actions that would harm others or the distribution of obscene material (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, 2000). There are many reasons why various organizations and people are censoring different kinds of topics; some people say it’s the right thing to do and others think its controversial to the first amendment.