Sana Zaidi MA English, Semester – III Censorship in Dystopian Novels According to Wikipedia “Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other such entities.” The very first line of the given definition contradicts the basic human right, The Right to Speech. However, it justifies the violation as it is read further. It is violated for the safety of the government and most probably for the protection of the citizens as well. Despite of the explanation for the existence of the censorship it is important for the citizens to have an idea of what is being censored. What is being censored?
Fahrenheit 451 brilliantly illustrates a life where censorship eliminates thought provoking activities and replaces such activities with those of instant gratification. Censorship is a controversial topic that often confuses the common person. “Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are ‘offensive,’ happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others” (“What is Censorship” 1). Knowing the definition of censorship allows for the ability to discern suppression from the whole truth. Why censor in the first place?
“Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice” is a famous quote from Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. The suppression of expression, censorship, has existed for several centuries. It is an important topic often overlooked. In the 1530s, Michelangelo’s art, the Last Judgement, was painted over because the exposed bodies offended some. In 1907, Chicago, Illinois created a censorship regulation for films.
As stated on the NCAC website, “As these examples illustrate, censorship based on an individual sensitivities and concerns restricts the world of knowledge available to students,” (“The First Amendment in Schools: Censorship”). Just because you do not enjoy a book or you have a problem with it, that does not mean you have to take it away from everybody. This takes away from a child’s education. Also, “Censorship is particularly harmful in the schools because it prevents youngsters with inquiring minds from exploring the world, seeking truth and reason, stretching their intellectual capacities, and becoming critical thinkers,” (“The First Amendment in Schools: Censorship”). Taking away books from children or teachers makes education even more difficult.
It protects citizens of the United States from Congress supporting one religion over others and restricting an individual’s religious choice. This enforces separation of church and state. The first amendment guarantees the right for society to come together and to petition their government. It also allows society the freedom of expression, so congress cannot silence the press or person who is speaking freely. This possibly is the most important to Americans - freedom of speech.
The Catcher in the Rye no part of the book should be censored because everything in the book stand either as a symbol for the character Holden or serve as a lesson in the book But you’ve not told why...you can’t just state something without cause. State why... Intro: The definition of Censorship is “Censorship is the restraint of speech and communicative material by some form of power or authority, usually a government” (Censorship). A censorship is done to protect the public because they are considered offensive or otherwise objectionable (censorship). A censorship is not simply done by just a normal citizen but by a high authority usually done by the government.
According to Susan Jacoby, in “A First Amendment Junkie”, “. . .the protection of the constitution should not be extended to any particularly odious or threatening for of speech (although I don’t agree with it)” (17). Here Jacoby is saying that the constitution should continue its job of protection when it comes to any threatening form of speech. At the time Jacoby spoke about her views on the First Amendment it was the beginning of feminists and their uprising.
Censorship of the internet restricts first and ninth amendment rights, but also gives a sense of security to many people. The argument against government monitoring has been used before in the past for the technology at the time. The government should be able to monitor someoneâ€™s web history and usage if it is deemed a threat. In the United States, citizens due have restriction about what they can do or say. Speech is limited in public places, government meetings, school, work, and when it can but others in danger.
In 1969, due to protected speech, the conviction of a Ku Klux Klan leader for holding a rally with participants parading around burning crosses in antagonism against the blacks and Jews was reversed under the First Amendment of the United States, stating that the government cannot punish speech unless it posed a danger of imminent lawless action. People are therefore allowed to disseminate and spread hate speech that might incite harm against others. Even Salman Rushdie, an author known for his support for freedom of speech had commented saying, "The First Amendment defends all forms of speech including hate speech, which is why groups like KKK are allowed to utter their poisonous remarks.” It also allows for perpetrators to grow and take on bigger risks in their endeavours. Even John Stuart Mills, a staunch advocate against censorship had stated, “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others,” extending support for censorship should it be in the name of utilitarianism. Hence, freedom of speech should not be protected should it endanger the safety of
Censorship allows for the protection of children from harmful ideologies and incorrect morals. It then becomes critical that those at a young age only be expose to stories and works of literature that portray the truth and correct ideologies of morality. Plato Argues that censorship serves its purpose to prevent harmful ideologies from being imposed on our children. As pointed out by Plato, there is a responsibility to educate the young with the correct virtues and morals. Any forms of art may establish incorrect ideologies or morals in children.