Mindy Newell: Books, Banned and Burned
This one’s for Martha …
Nothing like a good book to get the rabble-rousers going.
In Field Of Dreams, Ray Kinsella’s wife, played by Amy Madigan, successfully shuts down the effort to ban Terence Mann’s books from the local Iowa school system. Terence Mann – played by James Earl Jones – was based on J.D. Salinger, the reclusive author of Catcher In The Rye.
Catcher was published in 1951, and has pretty much stayed on “attempts to ban it” lists since its publication. In fact, it was the most censored book in America from 1961 to 1982, even though, according to Wikipedia, it was the “second most taught book in United States public schools.” It most recently reappeared on the “most challenged books” list, published by American Library Association, in 2009.
These are some of the books I remember being on the curriculum when I was in school, along some that I missed because I was already out of school by the time they made the list of required reading, courtesy of my co-workers, although I have read them all:
|The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn||The Adventures of Tom Sawyer||Animal Farm|
|Antigone||Brave New World||Beloved|
|Call of the Wild||Catcher in the Rye||The Color Purple|
|The Crucible||Death of a Salesman||The Diary of Anne Frank|
|Fahrenheit 451||The Glass Menagerie||The Grapes of Wrath|
|Great Expectations||The Great Gatsby||Hamlet|
|Invisible Man||Johnny Tremain||The Light in the Forest|
|Lord of the Flies||Macbeth||The Miracle Worker|
|Of Mice and Men Othello||One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest||Othello|
|Our Town||The Outsiders||The Pearl|
|The Pigman||Pygmalion||The Red Badge of Courage|
|The Red||Romeo and Juliet||The Scarlet Letter|
|A Separate Peace||Shane||A Tale of Two Cities|
|To Kill a Mockingbird||Where the Red Fern Grows||Wuthering Heights|
And here are the books on that list that have been banned at one time or another – or on which attempts have been made ban, courtesy of the American Library Association (ALA):
|The Great Gatsby||The Catcher in the Rye|
|The Grapes of Wrath||To Kill a Mockingbird|
|The Color Purple||Beloved|
|The Lord of the Flies||1984|
|Of Mice and Men||Catch-22|
|Brave New World||Animal Farm|
|Invisible Man||One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest|
|The Call of the Wild||A Separate Peace|
|The Diary of Anne Frank||The Outsiders|
Call Of The Wild?
Are you fucking kidding me?
Other books on the list I found from the ALA include the Goosebumps series; the Earth’s Children series; Gone With The Wind (but not anywhere in the South – oh, for those good old antebellum days!); The Handmaid’s Tale (in the South, I bet!); the Harry Potter series; Slaughterhouse Five; Native Son; Cujo, Carrie, and The Dead Zone (someone really doesn’t like Stephen King); Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Forever, Tiger Eyes, and Deenie, (they don’t like Judy Blume, either); A Wrinkle In Time; Flowers For Algernon; James And The Giant Peach (but Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is okay?); The House Of Spirits; The Bluest Eye and Song Of Solomon (or Toni Morrison); and That Was Then, This Is Now (ditto for S.E. Hines).
And you wonder why this country is so frakked.
TUESDAY: Michael Davis Spills The Beans