Essay by c_richardsonHigh School, 12th gradeA, November 2002

download word file, 5 pages 4.5


The Great Gatsby. To Kill a Mockingbird. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Marsh, 37-41). These books and many more have all been challenged and or banned in the last one hundred years. Many great novels, music artists, and internet sites are censored every day in our nation's public schools. Censorship has become a huge problem in the schools of the United States.

Censorship is defined as "the institution, system, or practice of" supervising the conduct and morals of others (Webster, 220). This is a rather loose definition of something that controls so many parts of the lives of so many people. A better definition of censorship would be: the practice of controlling and closing someone's mind over a long period of time. So many things are censored now, that it is hard to tell where something crosses the line. Books, movies, music, and the internet have all been targets of this close-mindedness.

A main focus of censorship groups is public schools. The central target is normally books. Concerned parents, teachers, and even students have challenged many great books. A few things that have been challenged were books dealing with sex and/or drug education, homosexual works, pagan and occult culture and lifestyle works, and novels that deal with conflicts between parents and children (Oboler, 62-63). People challenge these types of works because they are not used to them, do not understand them, or just plain do not like them.

There are four main reasons why people challenge books. The first is the family values instilled in all of us as soon as we are born. Many parents want to protect their children from things that they deem inappropriate. This is a great concept, but many parents practice this while still remaining uninformed of what it is that they are challenging. Parents...