It is a trying time for books. Apart from the growing dependency on electronic equivalents, now books are being banned and removed. There has been much discussion about Maus being banned. Maus is a graphic novel that has won several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for the depiction of the Holocaust. It is a great work that has been banned in a Tennessee district. Since then, many other books have been getting complaints and forced to be removed. These books include the classic To Kill a Mockingbird.
The Mukilteo School Board made a unanimous decision to remove the renowned book by Harper Lee from their curriculum. Instead of it being a part of the required reading, they have made it the decision of the teacher if they want to include the book. The reasoning for such a decision was the concerns of the book having inherent themes of racism. Members of the board have repeatedly pressed upon the fact that the book hasn’t been banned but just removed.
John Gahagan, a member of the board, mentioned that when he reread the book after almost 50 years he realized the discomfort. He mentioned how the book is not only racist but it also has underlying themes of racism being tolerated. In an interview he mentioned “Atticus Finch, of course, is in everyone’s memory the noble hero of the book, but in fact, he was kind of tolerant of the surrounding racism. He described one of the members of the lynch mob as a good man.”
The Other Side
There are several reasons for the book to be banned but the dismissed importance of the book in the world of literature has baffled people. Utah Governor mentioned “Any student of history knows that banning books never end up well, This isn’t age appropriate,’ and it’s another thing to say, ‘Hey we’re making your kids read this book,’ right? … But just having a book available for kids who maybe see things differently or who are interested in that, let’s just be cautious out there. I’m not saying every book should be in every classroom. There are probably some books that shouldn’t be in our schools. But let’s be thoughtful about it. Let’s take a step back, take a deep breath and make sure that we’re not doing something we’ll regret.”
People not in favor of the bans have talked about using librarians as a source of information. They can aid in understanding things to keep in mind while reading certain books. This is something vital for people to understand because art is so confusing. The person and the creation are so closely intertwined that sometimes art is punished instead of the artist.