The Use Of Profanity In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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The book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is one of the most challenged pieces of literature in school systems today. Challenged meaning, being the subject of debate on whether or not it should be banned. The reason for the challenge is largely due to the profanity that finds its way into the story. This raises many questions as to whether or not this profanity should be exposed to children or endorsed by the school system. Although the use of profanity in the book Of Mice and Men may lead to dangers of children using those bad words more frequently, the use of it in the story allows teachers to explore the use of profanity and its effect on the english language. Furthermore, restraining a child’s exposure to that language may hinder that child’s interaction with the world outside of academics. In many cases, the profanity used in Of Mice and Men is dated or seldom used. This is because the book was published in 1937, in a time when different words were considered offensive. For example, a character named Candy refers to a promiscuous woman as a “tart” as opposed to the modern day counterpart, “slut” or “whore”. Despite meaning the same exact thing, the use of the word “tart” would not elicit the same…show more content…
There is no question as to whether or not profanity being used and endorsed in school wide literature is in hot debate. What can be questioned is whether the potential risks of allowing that language to be seen freely are worth the benefits profanity can bring. Profanity is a window to the development of culture and language through the ages. Profanity is a coping mechanism for reducing pain and stress. Profanity is a social adhesive that joins all men equally by the same circumstance and tongue. It would be disadvantageous of the school board to go to such great lengths to censor a story that exemplifies profanity not just as ‘dirty words’, but as a relatively untapped portion of the english
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