In a world where people are at liberty to express their views regarding key issues in the society, the aspect of censorship becomes a subject that presents a heated debate due to the conflicting views that are raised on its necessity in the society. Authors and writers of literary manuscripts and works of art have been in the spotlight in the way they present different themes in their books regarding contemporary issues. It becomes critical when one has to consider the element of banning books because of the failure to adhere to ethical principles required for passing messages to the society. It further becomes complicated to integrate the works of history in the current generation. This is because while the authors of the diverse books intended to pass specific messages regarding the social setting at the time of the setting of the novels, the reception in the current generation constitutes a source of conflict. From the review of several novels illustrating key social issues in the respective setting, it is inferred that the aspect of censorship and book challenges is a significant necessity to streamline what the public needs to know in an attempt to create relevance and avoid clashes in the multicultural world.
Morality and sexual orientation
Humanity perceives the subject of diversities in sexual orientation with mixed responses with the subject of homosexuality becoming a cause of public divide. It is believed that in the natural setting, sexual relationships were meant to be for recreation and, thus, described to be intended for the opposite sex. Several ideas that have been highlighted to support this claims are founded on the fact that homosexuals are unable to produce biological offspring. Authors’ reference to the highly contested element of human sexuality has, therefore, been in scrutiny with some instances illustrating the need to ban content that promote the vice in the society. In fact, the problem becomes even more worrying when children’s literature is implied in the process, because, instead of promoting good morals, some books carelessly portray characters who engage in controversial sexual orientations.
An example of a work of literature that is inconsiderate about this factor is And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson. In the book, two penguins are described to engage in acts that appear to be controversial despite being males. In one instance, they are praised when it is mentioned: “Hooray Roy, hooray Silo, welcome Tango” (Richardson and Parnell 67). The two penguins had, however, been identified to accompany each other in many places and would even bow to each other and had even tried hatching an egg together, implying that they were acting as normal couples. For the targeted readers, the young children, there is likely to be a concern for its promotion of immorality and homosexuality, because after reading the cheering scene, young ones are likely to think that homosexuality is a normal dynamic of the social constitution. This example implies that necessity for a ban on screens that derail children’s morals.
Bullying and violence in the society
The need to uphold good morals in the community has been the ultimate drive for almost every social disposition, with the development of children mostly inferred whenever the subject of bullying comes up. Because of their developing state, children are more likely to seek adventure and explore dangerous trails in the process. A real-world example illustrating the criticality of the subject is the realization that a vast majority of children are highly criticized when they engage in media that portrays bouts of violence. The best example is the society’s repulsive nature to teenage engagement in video games depicting the use of violence. In fact, it is possible that the social order is objected to children engaging in movies because of the increased likelihood of seeing aspects of violence that could lead them to developing violent characters in the community. It, therefore, becomes a concern for stakeholders when authors of literature care less about this necessity, and instead, describe scenes of violence in books that are meant to have a positive impact on the reader.
One instance that illustrates insensitivity to violence is in the book Brave New World written by Aldous Huxley. Linda is at one time portrayed to be a violent woman and even slaps another character who tries to shield himself from the fierce woman. It is stated that “Oh, be careful. My shoulder! Oh!” and she pushed him away, hard. His head banged against the wall. “Little idiot!” she shouted; and then, suddenly, she began to slap him. Slap Slap” (Huxley 85). The book, thus, appears to illustrate that it is normal for someone to display violent behavior when they do not disagree with someone on a certain subject. The portrayal of the theme of violence and bullying in works of literature stresses the need for represses on sections that promote the vice and are likely to derail good morals.
The subject of drug abuse and addiction encompasses the broad assessment of alcoholism, cigarette smoking, and the use of stimulants to boost physiological and mental processes. For a long time in history, the society has objected the use of substances with children being discouraged from such activities because of the associated negative consequences on human health. In some contexts, adults have also been advised to limit their indulgence in substance abuse. However, it has become evident that authors of literature are less mindful of the subject from the numerous references to drug use in writings ranging from short stories, poems, and novels.
An example of a book that illustrates the concept of substance abuse is Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. The author mentions that, at some point, M. Norton was feeling faint and needed a stimulant to cheer him up. He says “His voice trailed off. Something cold formed within my chest. If anything happened to him, Dr. Bledsoe would blame me. I stepped on the gas, wondering where I could get him some whiskey” (Ellison 55). The author attempts to portray that Mr. Norton’s state was so bad that he would only be rejuvenated when he received the whiskey to excite him up and get him back to normal. The author, thus, makes it appear as if the alcoholic beverage is a necessity for anyone who felt dizzy and the message would possibly have negative outcomes to a reader who is unaware of the adverse effects of alcohol consumption. In a related piece of literature, the narrator promotes the use of cigarettes in the book Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes “She took out a cigarette and I lit it for her” (Keyes 296). Because of the limitlessness of literature in the perspective of those who access the content, it is suggested that there is a need to place a limit on books and stories that promote substance abuse.
Racism, social alienation, and social differences
Another critical source of conflict for humanity has been the subject of racism with a broad range of literature covered on the subject making attempts to streamline ethnic and racial differences in a bid to promote multiculturalism. Promoters of the vice have been highly criticized for encouraging divisions in the society. In many social contexts, the appreciation of racial diversity has been encouraged for social harmony. Many writers of literature have also targeted to streamline differences by highlighting incidences and consequences of bias against the minor ethnic groups. It, therefore, beats logic and calls for censorship when other authors end up encouraging the vice, rather than sensitizing the public on the need to discourage it.
In The Perks of Being a Wallflower novel by Stephen Chbosky, Patrick and Sam make fun of Charlie for his uniqueness after questioning him. It is stated “This made them laugh because they knew I meant it honest, not show-off. Then they told me their favorites, and we sat quiet” (Chbosky 12). Instead of creating an institution where those with diverse presentations and socially shy people are embraced, the novel appears to highlight the prominence in discrimination and mockery of such characters.
For a long time in history, sex and related acts have remained to be a taboo in many cultures with its practice being restricted to adult members. Consequently, minors have been discouraged from engaging in intercourse in their early development years and, as a result, material depicting adult content has remained to be a restriction. To illustrate the criticality of the subject of access to explicit content by the young ones, it is noted that children are not allowed to access pornographic material which is deemed to be “adult content” in many settings to discourage children from getting curious on the subject. It is, therefore, worrying that authors of literature are carelessly including episodes of sexual intimacy in their works.
One aspect of promiscuity that is evident in the selected readings is In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak when Mickey is described to float in the giant mixing pot when he is nude. The author fails to consider that the book is meant for children and illustrates aspects of nudity that even include mentions of the character being fully naked. For example, when the bakers saw that Mickey was nude, one of them said, “Look in the batter creek and nothings the matter” (Sendak 43). The author then proceeds to expose the character’s nudity disregarding gender sensitivity, because it is likely to offend certain gender-sensitive parties. In a related book Beloved by Toni Morisson, the author refers to sex as though it is a casual engagement when he states that Paul D. had been used to being involved in intercourse with Sethe. The author describes, “He was accustomed to sex with Sethe just about every day, and to avoid the confusion Beloved's shining caused him he still made it his business to take her back upstairs in the morning, or lie down with her after supper” (Morrison 66). In yet another piece of literature, a gang plots to rape a woman with the author depicting thoughtlessness to morality in the way he refers to the woman’s nudity. It is stated in A Clockwork Orange, “And, viddying her lying there with her groodies on show, I wondered should I or not, but that was for later on in the evening” (Burgess 10). Such a message is likely to mislead the reader into changing their beliefs reading sex and promiscuity, as they could think it is normal to have sex with those that they relate within their social circles as Sethe and Paul D. did. It is, thus, essential to censor such sections and focus only on the theme of the story as an aspect of children entertainment and avoid creating interest in readers.
Support for censorship of literature
From the reviews, it is affirmed that the belief for the need for censorship has not changed, because the readings have highlighted the extent of different ways in which authors express insensitivity to the foundations of the social makeup of morality. Despite the issue being debatable, the hypothesis has been confirmed with different novels portraying episodes of sexual promiscuity, violence against other characters, and a vast of other controversies.
In general, therefore, censorship is a significant aspect of the control of content that the susceptible public receives. The element of book challenges is especially critical, because, while adults have a much developed cognitive structure, the young adults are vulnerable and are most predisposed to being derailed from the exposure to misleading material in books. For instance, the books And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell and In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak are specifically intended for minors, but end up depicting controversial scenes that call for a limitation of their access to the targeted readers.
Thus, it is affirmed that book challenges should be allowed, because of the need to control the content that is availed to the public from the supposedly learned academic scholars who compose novels. The main motivation of the support for censors and books challenges is the need to encourage adherence to moral standards, while promoting diversity in the multicultural world.
In summary, it is critical to affirm the present debate on the need to place a limit and management processes on the type of information that the public is exposed to from reading works of literature. The primary basis for the support of the claim is that there exists a broad range of controversies that are not addressed adequately in novels. The most worrying trend that poses a risk to the minors is authors’ frequent reference to sex episodes, as though it is a casual act. Furthermore, violence and bullying appear to be issues that are addressed carelessly in novels, further proving that there should be a ban on books that promote the vice, rather than sensitive the public of the same. Moreover, because of the inconsiderate handling of drug abuse and alcoholism, the aspect of substance abuse appears to constitute a reason for the need to protect minors and the general public from engaging in abuse of drugs. It is also noted that because of the way writers have handled the delicate and controversial subject of homosexuality, there needs to be a limit on the publishing of books for public use, if they do not conform to the natural definition of sexual orientation. The last consideration involves the fact that authors promote social alienation and racial discrimination in their works. Therefore, censorship and book challenges should be encouraged to ensure that books that appear to mislead the reader are restricted from public access to promote ethics and morality in the society.