Times have truly changed when it comes to the context available for the viewing of the general public. Back then, rules were very strict, and a lot of texts and messages were not allowed to reach the media. Of course, literature was not excluded. Many of the most celebrated novels today were actually censored or banned during its time since they were believed to corrupt the youth and promote unpleasant behaviour and thinking. Racism, sex, profanity, and criticisms toward society were only some of the topics that were most commonly censored. Today, you’re lucky enough to live in a time where people are more open-minded and individualistic thinking is allowed and often even encouraged. In honor of these wonderful books that were given much criticism during its time, here are five banned books you should read today.
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To Kill A Mockingbird is a well-known classic novel and is considered by many to be one of the greatest works of fiction in American literature. And yet, many times it has been banned since it was first released, mainly because of its topic dealing with racism. Atticus, the father of young Scout Finch, is a lawyer who defended a black man accused of raping a white woman. Because of the book’s central topic of racism and frank discussion of rape, it has received much criticism and controversy.
- Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The international success that is J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series which engaged young children to read thousands of page filled with nothing but words was not always accepted by the public. In fact, it is America’s most frequently banned book. There are two main reasons why people rally for the book series’ ban. First, because the content of the book deals with the supernatural and the occult and such topics are regarded positively, so much that the protagonist himself, Harry Potter, is a wizard. Second, because the book contains certain subject matters that is believed to be too dark for young readers. Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that the book series is a literary classic that holds numerous morals including friendship, courage, and righteousness.
- The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of Being A Wallflower is Chbosky’s take on life in the eyes of a teenager, inspired by J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. The book is narrated by Charlie who tells his stories to an anonymous friend. Because of the explicit content of the book, including homosexuality, drug use, and abuse, it has been withdrawn from many libraries across the US. However, Chbosky did not fail to describe the modern obstacles that a teenager may face and these topics have been well addressed in his book.
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia is truly a powerful book that explores life, friendship, death, and family. It is about two children, Jesse Aarons and Leslie Burke, who tries to escape the burdens, hardships, and dullness of their life by creating a magical forest kingdom that only they can see. Although the book is considered to be a children’s book, it deals with pretty mature content and that’s why it is often banned. Some feel that the language is too offensive, or that it deals with scenes of witchcraft and supernatural, or that it promotes disobeying authority, and of course, the theme of death is believed to be too grim for young readers.
- American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
It is not uncommon for the works of Ellis to be criticized, but none so far has faced the level of criticism that American Psycho has received. The book tells the tale, in thorough detail, of the business man and serial killer Patrick Bateman. Because of its disturbing depictions of violence and graphic sexual content, the book has been banned in several countries around the world including Germany and Canada. Moreover, because Bateman usually targets women, the book is deemed to be violently misogynistic.