Why is it that the most philosophical books are often the most controversial?
Literature that makes audiences question the basic fabric of society is known to be the most profound. Questioning our current atmosphere is what allows humanity to develop intellectually. Yet, it’s only normal for people to fear the questioning of society, as history shows that it frequently leads to change.
There are a few books that come to mind that pose an abundance of deep, philosophical questions. Yet, institutions around the world, from school curriculums to entire nations, have banned them for various reasons. Granted, these books are filled with content not usually suitable for adolescents, but in the right context with teachers who know the right way to communicate these topics to their students, they can have an incredible impact.
These are some of the most famous controversial books that have also been banned in a few areas.
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Author: George Orwell
The famous novella about the corruption of socialist ideals in the Soviet Union was, of course, banned in the Stalinist USSR. Its position as a banned book has lasted far beyond the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s still banned in North Korea and Cuba for similar reasons as to why it was banned in the Soviet Union. Strangely enough, it was even banned in the United Arab Emirates for portraying a talking pig, which was seen as conflicting with Islamic ideas.
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Author: Alice Walker
Although this book has received both the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize, it has continually been confronted and banned for it’s highly controversial content, such as social and sexual explicitness. Although the novel does consist of abuse and sexual assault, it’s a central part of the narrative, and it is what makes the book so genuine. In spite of all the controversies, however, the book was adapted into a movie in 1985, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey.
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Author: JD Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye is a unique novel in that it is one of the most frequently banned books, yet one of the most taught throughout American schools. The book is banned because it depicts teenage rebellion, and its portrayal of debauchery, drinking, and defiance. Yet, defenders of the novel see it as the pinnacle of the frustrations and mental dilemmas of the teenage years. The protagonist Holden Caulfield depicts genuine thoughts of the loss of authenticity as we get older, and has become an integral part of English curriculums around the world.
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Author: Bret Easton Ellis
This book centers around an unstable investment banker who describes his daily activities, such as taking drugs and going to nightclubs. It soon becomes clear that he is mentally unstable, thus making him an unreliable narrator. Though the book does develop into more of a satire, there is a lot of graphic detail of murder, rape, and cannibalism. It’s no wonder that the book is banned in various areas. According to ABC News, the book cannot be sold to anyone under the age of eighteen in Australia. American Psycho was also highly denounced by feminist activist Gloria Steinem for portraying violence towards women.
What do you guys think? Have these books been fairly criticized? Let us know in the comments!
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