The Dark Truth of Literary Censorship
Since 1982, there have been over 11,300 banned books throughout the world. Literary censorship is becoming a part of life as people find more problems with the ideas of otherr’s works in todayr’s world.Ray Bradbury,the author of Fahrenheit 451, develops a story that interprets what society would become if people continue to oppress ideas of other people and become ignorant of what the true meaning of literacy is. Literary censorship is the idea of taking away the thoughts and ideas of a person that may seem obscure or offensive to someone else.
This leads to the banning or challenging of literature that can completely remove the ideas of an author or writer for the people in that area. Constant removing of such opinions and ideas can lead to people becoming naive of the problems occurring in their society and how to confront them. Bradbury warned future generations to watch out for literary censorship and how it can affect society in a harmful way as Fahrenheit 451 is a direct representation of what society would look like and the problems they people would face. In this generation, people are fighting against literary censorship for the same reason and trying to get people to realize that it has many negative effects Literary censorship is an unhealthy practice that can deprive people of their imagination and ideas which can lead to an ignorant society.
Ray Bradbury uses the main character Guy Montag to show how literary censorship can cause many problems within a society. He is a fireman and their job is to burn down houses that have books. One day, he is forcing a lady to leave her house, but she does not move and holds onto her books and burns in the fire. He realizes that these books must have something important in them and then gets consumed in the amount of knowledge and ideas they provide. Montag decides to share his new thoughts on these ideas but realizes how ignorant society has become after books were deemed trivial and wrongful to even have possession of. In the book, Montag comes across a crucial realization when he says, Nobody listens any more. I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me. I can’t talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say(Bradbury 125). Montag realizes that people have no opinions and do not share ideas or have thoughts anymore because they have secluded themselves away from literature which is the core source of ingenuity. People can become too ignorant and would not even be able to have a discussion with other people because nobody would have opinions or views on topics. The burning of the books in Fahrenheit 451 is the equal to the banning of books in our society, and Bradbury is trying to warn the readers that the consequence of this would be that society develops this disregard to open ideas and opinions that no one hase view on anything. Literary censorship would completely wipe out the notion of belief and morals due to its harmful repercussions. Bradbury explains what he was thinking as he was developing Fahrenheit 451 and why the story came out to be as it was. He wanted the book to make his audience realize that the main focus of the book was the loss of individuality and creativity, and he uses Montag to represent what it means to be imaginative and curious. He explains how he uses the character of Beatty to explain what the world has become. In the section of how Fahrenheit 451 was created, society is described as, … a mindless consumerist society incapable of saving itself from looming nuclear annihilation (Bradbury 182).
The society in the book has become mindless and there are no real ideas or motives to do anything, making everyone ignorant of any problems. Literary censorship led to the creation of a society like this and Bradbury warns readers the same would happen to them if they do nothing about it. Humans lose their way of thinking which leads to a society of disregard and loss of imagnitivity. In light of this problem, people in current generations have brought up arguments against the idea of literary censorship to address the problems it can cause. Many people disagree with the idea of literary censorship as they explain how it can be harmful to humankind as a whole. Healey is an activist against banning books and argues that taking away the right to read a works of literature from a person is basically removing the opinions and morals of that person. If a person cannot gain knowledge, then there is no point in them trying to solve a problem because they would not have the ideas to fix it. Healey claims , …if we continue to ban books and ignore what some consider taboo topics, we hinder ourselves and our children from finding ways to solve societyr’s problems thus hampering the development of our nation as a whole(Neha K. 1). Not only does a person lose their sense of imagination and creativity, they also lose their capability to solve problems, and this can lead to everyone being ignorant. If one cannot solve a problem, then he or she will leave it for someone else to take care of it, but when there is no one to address it, then it becomes the real problem. Problems like this can only hurt humanity as they will grow to a point where they cannot be solved, forcing people to conform with these problems.
That is why some have worked to counter censorship such as Paul Ringer. Paul Ringel, a strong supporter of Banned Books Week, and argues that literaturer’s purpose is to open up a world of imagination and is meant to inspire people. Taking away this literature only has negative effects since it would be taking away creativity from someone. Ringel, a writer for The Atlantic says, curate children with the goals of inspiring rather than obscuring new ideas…with the faith that they will apply those lessons to their own lives(Ringel 12-13). Letting children read this literature will inspire them to strive for their goals and help society, whereas literary censorship would conceal an open world of imagination, which is a major problem. The more ingenuity a person has, the more he can contribute to others and the better humanity can prosper. Literary censorship can prevent people from gaining knowledge that can help them confront problems to help humanity, but some people think it has too many negative effects. Some people argue that literary censorship is good for the community as these topics may have negative effects on children and that censorship can protect others from harmful ideas and information. Parents argue that young kids are not ready to experience unhealthy topics as it can harm their minds and provide them with damaging information. Kim Heinecke is a mother of four young kids and wrote to her local Superintendent that,”It is not a matter of ‘sheltering’ kids. It is a matter of guiding them toward what is best. We are the adults. It is our job to protect them no matter how unpopular that may seem(Banned Books 2). She argues that it is a parentr’s job to protect children from these harmful topics and to censor such topics. Censoring these topics only makes things worse, as the parents are preventing the children from learning about problems in society, so when they confront one, they will have no idea what to do. Banning books or censoring literature not only deprives people of creativity and imagination, but also leaves them unaware of the true state of the world making them ignorant to problems of society.
Both Bradburyr’s book Fahrenheit 451 and people against censorship illustrates how literary censorship is a destructive concept that can strip away the imagination and creativity of people which leads to an ignorant society. Bradbury argues that society will itself turn ignorant if people do not rise up against the idea of censorship of literature. People who disagree with censorship explain that there are only negative outputs for this practice since it prevents people from understanding the real problems of the real world. Literary censorship is a dangerous idea that is becoming a threat and people in current generations must stand up against it for the better of society.
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