Banned Books Week #7: The Great Gatsby
Good Morning and Happy Saturday! It is the last day of Banned Books Week and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you, our followers, who have been loyal and faithful to our blog. It has been a great week and it inspires us, as writers, to see a nation celebrate fellow writers who have come before us and had their books challenged, banned, and still, we read them today. These novels serve as in inspiration to us and we are grateful for the writers who have come before us. Their books have helped mold our minds into what they are today.
The greatest thing that we can hope to pass on to a future generation is knowledge and a greater understanding of the world and humanity. The books that have been mentioned before all taught us something about history and our place within it.
For the last Banned Book of Banned Books Week, we are going to look at F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”. Most high schooler’s are forced to read this book, at least here in California. However, it is often banned or challenged because of its “sexuality and profanity”. While reading this book, I, personally, did not see anything that was questionable or objectionable. The story shows the Roaring 20’s era with adultery, smoking and drinking (sounds like 2012, huh?) Well, that’s just the problem. It is not any different than what we see today so we, as the modern society, do not have a problem with this novel. However, readers in the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s had a BIG problem with it. Imagine the era where “Leave it to Beaver” is the culture norm. No drinking except for coke… and sleeping in double beds… Then… throw in a highly celebrated book that shows adultery and (gasp!) drinking of alcoholic beverages… and suddenly folks, we’ve got a banned book on our hands!
As far as I can tell, the book hasn’t been banned by a public school in the last decade (there are several religious schools that still forbid the reading of this book). So, it may not be a CURRENT banned book by the government, yet, it was banned for quite a long time. P.S. go see the Leonardo DiCaprio version of this book which will be coming out in December! 🙂
In conclusion, I hope that you have enjoyed banned books week as much as I have enjoyed writing it. As I said in my first post last Sunday, Banned Books is a controversial issue. Some people, due to their own beliefs, may think that it is inappropriate for certain books to be available to the general public due to content or language. Through my posts, I have not attempted to change anyone’s minds about their own personal beliefs. I have simply presented my own beliefs regarding the books I covered and why I believe that every book is essential to the development of knowledge. I believe that readers should be allowed to read whatever they want. If a reader objects to material in a book, then by all means, don’t read it. I completely agree that children should be protected. I will always believe that one of the most challenging jobs of a parent is to keep children’s knowledge on those things that are pure and important. I believe in the ability for parents to choose what their children should and should not read. I do not believe in a government deciding what other people’s children cannot read and I certainly don’t believe in a government that can tell adults what they can/cannot read.
I know from personal experience that the majority of knowledge that I have gained in my lifetime is not from television… it is from the books that I read. Therefore, I hope that my children and future generations will be allowed to read books that will tell history in a captivating way, making them sympathize and understand the past, without having to trudge through a hefty history book which may not carry with it the same humanity as a first-person narrative.
Books tell of the past but they, through the reader, affect our future. Banned Book Tuesday will continue in a week.