Tag: the color purple

Were These Books Fairly Banned?

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.

 

 

Animal Farm

 

Image Via Amazon
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.

 

The Color Purple

 

Image Via Wikipedia
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.

 

The Catcher in the Rye

 

Image Via Amazon
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.

 

American Psycho

 

Image Via Goodreads
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!

 

 

Featured Image Via The Movie Database

Lucius & Draco, fucked up father & fucked up progeny

The 7 Baddest Dads from Literature

Bad dads are a massive inspiration when it comes to literature and media, a broad spectrum of general douchebaggery that ranges from King Triton’s overbearing & possessive nature to Anakin Skywalker’s… well, everything. Luke, I am the source of all your issues going into adulthood! The ones that aren’t actively bad are frequently absent or neglectful, perfect fodder for creating plot conflict or generating sympathy for the protagonist. So, happy Father’s Day weekend to the dads that don’t suck! While we could never compile each and every one of literature’s shittiest dads, these seven will make even the most mediocre among you glow in comparison.

(Obviously, spoiler alert for all the books featured below!)

 

 

1. KING LAIUS

OEDIPUS Rex

 

 

Oedipus, the original motherfucker

Image Via Tv Tropes

 

 

Yup, it’s Oedipus’ dad—one of the only dads worse than Oedipus himself, whose behavior invited some intense scrutiny upon his two daughters, Ismene and the badass Antigone. It’s pretty f*cked up to abandon your child on top of a mountain, even if you HAVE heard he’s going to kill you and then nail your sexy wife, Jacosta. We all know that Oedipus’ fulfilment of the prophecy actually came about because of this blunder: not knowing his parentage, he murdered his father and bedded his mother without any recognition of what he’d done. But even if you’re pro-hillside-abandonment and think it was a justifiable move, why didn’t Laius just kill the kid and save everyone a lot of trouble???

 

2. King Lear

King Lear

 

 

Ian McKellen as King Lear

Image Via PBS

 

 

With enormous power comes an enormous chance of being a d*ck to your children. We’ve heard of divorced daddies’ cliche-riddled ploys to buy their children’s love. Lear actually expects his three daughters to buy his love, saying that Goneril loves him twice as much as Reagan because she offers twice the number of soldiers. He also calls his daughters “unnatural hags,” which we imagine is an untrue statement, given the lack of Sharpie brows and lip fillers back in Shakespeare’s day. Also, maybe Reagan and Goneril would have gotten along better (and hated their father a lot less) if Lear hadn’t obviously favored Cordelia. Some people say the play is an exploration of nature versus nurture, but there wasn’t really a whole lot of nurturing.

 

3. Humbert Humbert

Lolita

 

 

Humbert Humbert & Lo

Image Via Heard Tell

 

 

And here’s Humbert Humbert at number three, proving that this list is not in order of sh*ttiness. Humbert Squared is an evil pedophile who tricks a woman into marrying him so that he can have easy access to her twelve-year-old daughter, Lo—a girl he calls Lolita. When the girl’s mother discovers Humbert’s perverted motives in his journal, she runs to spread the news and is hit by an oncoming car. Humbert destroys the journal pages and takes legal custody of Lo, a position of power he abuses to coerce her into sex with gifts and threats that life would be far worse in an orphanage.

 

4. LUCIUS MALFOY

The Harry Potter Series

 

 

Lucius Malfoy, shit dad

Image Via Elite Daily

 

 

My parents sure didn’t let me get a tattoo when I was in my senior year of high school. Now, obviously that’s secondary to raising your child in a cult centered around the concept of blood purity. While every parent has a responsibility to keep their children safe, Lucius got involved with Magic Manson, an irresistible leader so dangerous that he’d be safer in jail than facing Voldy’s wrath. (Not to mention, of course, that’s he’s obviously a massive racist and literal slaveowner who mistreated Dobby.) He also tried to force his son to murder someone, either by dangling the carrot of his approval in front of Draco’s nose or by reminding him, helpfully, that Voldemort would likely kill Draco if he failed.

 

5. MR. WORMWOOD

Matilda

 

 

Mr. Wormwood, ass

image Via Matilda Fan Wiki

 

 

Ideally, fathers would share words of wisdom with their children. Apparently, some say: “I’m right & you’re wrong. I’m big & you’re small, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Ideally, fathers would embody the values that they want from their children. Apparently, some sell dangerously broken cars to customers that will run for ten minutes and then break down. Mr. Wormwood is a verbally abusive sh*tbag who happily abandons his child with a random schoolteacher he doesn’t personally know. Is Matilda better off with Miss Honey? Um, obviously. Is it still pretty messed up that he didn’t care at all about keeping his only daughter? ABSOLUTELY.

 

6. ALPHONSO

The Color Purple

 

 

'The Color Purple' Alphonso, leering

Image via The Color Purple Blogspot

 

Here’s a heads up that this depiction of parental abuse is pretty graphic. Considering that Humbert Humbert is on the list and THIS one needs a disclaimer, you can imagine the level of violence. Alphonso beats and violates his daughter, Celie, which has resulted twice in pregnancy. The first child, he took to the woods and murdered. Her father also steals the second child and takes a second wife—though he still keeps Celie close and abuses her physically. Despite his fixation on Celie, Alphonso frequently calls his daughter ugly and gives her away to a man who doesn’t love her. And the icing on the f*cked-up cake? Alphonso isn’t really Celie’s father: he’s her stepfather, pretending to be her father in order to inherit her deceased mother’s property.

 

 

7. VALENTINE MORGENSTERN

The mORTAL inSTRUMENTS sERIES

 

 

Valentine Morgenstern

Image Via FREEFORM

 

 

The devil’s in the details, and Valentine certainly didn’t miss the smallest one. He fed demon blood instead of Gerber’s fruit goo to his firstborn Jonathan Christopher, basically guaranteeing that the newborn would be an unhinged, child-murdering sociopath for the rest of his life. After his wife ran off with their daughter, Valentine found a RANDOM CHILD (Jace), convinced Jace that he was Jace’s real father, and then faked his own death violently in front of the kid. When Valentine reappears and finds Jace and his daughter Clary, he lets them (falsely!!!) believe they’re biological siblings—which is definitely a problem, since they’ve been dating. Oh yeah, and Valentine also murdered Jace’s pet hawk before telling the boy: “to love is to destroy, and to be loved is to be the one destroyed.” Is that the reason Jace has a reputation of sleeping around? Who knows? It’s not like that kid ever saw a therapist.

 

 

Featured Image Via Tor.

‘The Secret Life of Bees’ Is Now a Musical!

Exciting news for literature and musical fans! The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd was already critically acclaimed as both a novel and its feature film adaptation starring Dakota Fanning, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, and Queen Latifah. The novel was a bestseller on the New York Times’s bestsellers list. The novel itself dealt with weighty emotional issues, including child abuse and trauma. Beautifully written, it deals with its issues with maturity and grace, making for a potentially excellent stage adaptation.

Closeup of LaChanze for a publicity photo

Image Via Twitter

LaChanze, famed for her role in The Color Purplewill play beekeeper August Boatwright. Other cast members have been announced to be Eisa Davis as June, Manoel Felciano as T-Ray, Lily’s abusive father, Brett Gray as Zach, and Anastacia McCleskey as May. Set to begin previews on May 12th, 2019, the play will begin an off-Broadway show starting in June and eventually is eyeing a Broadway transfer. The play will feature music by Duncan Sheik and will be directed by Sam Gold. Performances will end July 7th but we hope this proves popular enough to get the eyes of Broadway! The show will deal with themes of faith, spirituality, and healing.

We can’t wait to see this book come alive on stage!

 

Featured Image Via Wikipedia 

Hermione Granger as a child, teenager, and adult

10 Literary Role Models to Help You Kick Ass in 2019

Sometimes, we look to our friends to be better people. Since you probably just rang in the New Year watching all of your friends sing badly and injure themselves while intoxicated, maybe you’re looking for a role model who’s a little more respectable. Here’s a list of ten literary characters who can inspire us to be better people in the year 2019—as long as we emulate only their positive qualities. (Katniss Everdeen did kill dozens of people.)

1. Atticus Finch

 

Atticus Finch

Gif Via Tumblr.com

 

A more inspirational lawyer than most actual lawyers, Harper Lee‘s beloved character Atticus Finch is a role model in the poor Southern town of Maycomb during the Great Depression. He’s empathetic, forgiving, respectful, an excellent parent… and he puts everything on the line to defend a black man in court in the 1930s, even when the racists in town don’t understand why. His rigid commitment to what’s right has served as an inspiration for many practicing lawyers, and his commitment to his beliefs is particularly relevant in times of division, violence, and injustice. (Yes, we’re ignoring the fact that he becomes a crotchety old racist in Go Set a Watchman—as are all of the parents who named their kids after him.)

 

2. Hermione Granger

 

Dumbledore's Army sign-up sheet

Gif Via Huffingtonpost.com

 

Listen-Harry might be brave and bold, but he’s no Ravenclaw. We all know Hermione is smart and loyal, constantly staying all night in the library to get the goods for her friends. And we would never forget how socially aware she can be, standing up for the rights of house elves and shutting down slurs left and right. But you might’ve forgotten how she deals with snitches and bitches: when Cho Chang’s friend leaks the details of Dumbledore’s Army, Hermoine finds out it was her via the sign-up sheet’s enchanted paper. Anyone who betrays the trust of the group will have the word SNEAK appear across their face in boils—which honestly would leave a pretty gross scar. This 2019, let’s all learn from Hermione not to mess around.

 

3. Nancy Drew

 

Nancy Drew & friends

Image Via Variety.com

 

Some people never land their dream jobs. Some people do it when they’re sixteen years old. Nancy Drew is big time goals for a number of reasons, not the least of which the fact that she’s a female detective originally from the 1930s—not a time big on respecting girls or children. She also graduated high school at the age of sixteen, meaning she must have remained pretty focused despite catching criminals. She also had more hobbies than books written about her, which is pretty impressive given her multi-decade run. Nancy is hardly the only genius detective out there, but she’s never been accused of blazing it 24/7 (Shaggy from Scooby Doo) or injecting cocaine (Sherlock Holmes).

 

4. Eloise

 

Eloise

Image Via Tabletmag.com

 

So maybe Eloise is just a wildly overprivileged six-year-old who roller-skates down the hallways of the Plaza Hotel. Eloise is at once extremely wealthy and a child, meaning she doesn’t have to pay for anything and has no responsibilities. While it’s unlikely we’ll shirk off all debt in the year 2019 and eat solely hotel room service, there’s nothing wrong with childlike enthusiasm in adult circumstances. (But there is something wrong with pouring champagne down mail chutes.)

 

5. Lady Macbeth

 

Lady Macbeth quote

Image Via Pinterest.com

 

2019 should definitely not be the year you kill someone. (2018 also should not have been the year you killed someone, though we’d understand if you considered it.) But this is a year for going after your dreams will all the wrath of this Shakespearean heroine. Want a better job? Get one! Want a healthier relationship? You go! Want the King of Scotland dead? You know what to do.

 

6. Jay Gatsby

 

Gatsby quote from film

Gif Via Gfycat.com

 

Maybe he does end up dead in a swimming pool. But listen—have you ever wanted something so badly you moved across the country, changed your name, broke the law, and became a mysterious billionaire celebrity to almost get it? This year, go after your goals with all the obsession and straight-up panache of Jay Gatsby. Just do your best not to be an accomplice to a hit-and-run.

 

7. Samwise Gamgee

 

Samwise Gamgee gif film

Gif Via Giphy.com

 

Following a year of political unpleasantness (and likely entering another year of political unpleasantness), let’s all take inspiration from a loyal friend who has never done anything wrong. If Lord of the Rings‘ Samwise Gamgee can become the only person to ever willingly give up the Ring, you can probably, like, eat a salad every now and then.

 

8. Janie Crawford

 

'Their Eyes Were Watching God' by Zora Neale Hurston

Image Via Essence.com

 

Zora Neale Hurston‘s Their Eyes Were Watching God details the life story of Janie Crawford, who escapes abusive and unsatisfying relationships to find love, respect, freedom, and financial independence. (Goals!) Janie Crawford rejects her role as the trophy wife of a violent husband to run far away with a kindhearted drifter. (Oh, and when her abusive husband dies, she gets all his money.) Enduring onslaughts of both nature and man, Janie survives a hurricane to become a stronger person and returns to her hometown in possession of a fascinating, well-lived life. While it would be best not to almost drown, be put on trial for murder, and have multiple of your loved ones die this 2019, we can (probably) become better versions of ourselves without the terrible bits.

 

9. Sofia

 

'The Color Purple' by Alice Walker

Image Via Blogspot.com

 

In Alice Walker‘s The Color Purple, Sofia defies gender roles and existing power struggles with her physical and mental strength. Is your goal for 2019 to work out? Maybe you’ll get so jacked you can punch abusers. Sofia’s physical strength allows her to take over as the head of the household, performing labor traditionally reserved for men, and negate her husband’s attempts at physical control. Not only can Sofia defy those in her life who want to hurt her, but she can also leave them. It’s never too early in the year to cut toxic people from your life—just don’t get arrested while doing it.

 

10. Katniss Everdeen

 

Katniss Everdeen gif

Image Via Giphy.com

 

If you’ve ever wanted to change the world, then guess what? Real life is a dystopia, and what you do in your day-to-day existence is probably exactly what you’d do as a fictional character. If you’d rather be a hero, try considering the ways in which you can better the world without killing dozens of children.