Top 10 Banned Books Of The 20th Century
By: Robert P.
If you think censorship is something that only happens in faraway countries, think again.
These ten great pieces of literature were all banned in the last century.
10. The Grapes of Wrath
"Before I knowed it, I was sayin' out loud, 'The hell with it! There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all part of the same thing.'"
- The Grapes of Wrath  John Steinbeck
At the time of publication, Steinbeck's novel was publicly banned and burned by citizens and debated on national radio hook-ups.
Part of its impact stemmed from its passionate depiction of the plight of the poor.
However, although Steinbeck was accused of exaggeration of the camp conditions to make a political point, he had actually done the opposite, underplaying the conditions that he well knew were worse than the novel describes because he felt exact description would have gotten in the way of his story.
9. Lady Chatterley's Lover
"Ravished! How ravished one could be without ever being touched. Ravished by dead words become obscene, and dead ideas become obsessions."
- Lady Chatterley's Lover  D. H. Lawrence
When Lady Chatterley's Lover was published in Britain in 1960, the trial of the publishers, Penguin Books, under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959 was a major public event and a test of the new obscenity law. The 1959 act had made it possible for publishers to escape conviction if they could show that a work was of literary merit. One of the objections was to the frequent use of the word "fuck" and its derivatives.'
Various academic critics were called as witnesses, and the verdict was not guilty. This resulted in a far greater degree of freedom for publishing explicit material in the UK.
"All this happened, more or less. The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true. One guy I knew really was shot in Dresden for taking a teapot that wasn't his. Another guy I knew really did threaten to have his personal enemies killed by hired gunmen after the war. And so on. I've changed all the names."
- Slaughterhouse-Five  Kurt Vonnegut
Because of its realistic and frequent depiction of swearing by American soldiers, its irreverent language (including the sentence "The gun made a ripping sound like the opening of the zipper on the fly of God Almighty,") and some sexually explicit content, Slaughterhouse-Five is among the most frequently banned works in American literature, and in some cases is still removed from school libraries and curricula.
Conversely, this book has also become a part of the curriculum of certain schools. The suitability of the work has even been considered by the Supreme Court of the United States, where it was one of the works at issue in Island Trees School District v. Pico,457 U.S. 853 (1982). The novel appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000 at number sixty-nine.
7. To Kill a Mockingbird
"The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."
- To Kill a Mockingbird  Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird has been a source of significant controversy since its being the subject of classroom study as early as 1963. The book's racial slurs, profanity, and frank discussion of rape have led people to challenge its appropriateness in libraries and classrooms across the United States. The American Library Association reported that To Kill a Mockingbird was #41 of the 100 most frequently challenged books of 1990â€“2000.
6. Fahrenheit 451
"The sun burnt every day. It burnt Time. The world rushed in a circle and turned on its axis and time was busy burning the years and the people anyway, without any help from him. So if he burnt things with the firemen and the sun burnt Time, that meant that everything burnt!"
- Fahrenheit 451  Ray Bradbury
The novel is frequently interpreted as being critical of state-sponsored censorship, but Bradbury has disputed this interpretation. He said in a 2007 interview that the book explored the effects of television and mass media on the reading of literature.
Have something to add to this article? Email the author!
Do You Listen To Your Inner Voice?
By: Vicky S.
Be first to read new articles and subscribe to our bi-weekly news letter.Our mailing list is free, opting out is easy and we don't send spam.
25 Signs You Haven't Grown Up Yet
By: Matthew C. Have you fallen for the traps of maturity yet?
50 Photos Full of Fail
By: David S. Prepare for some massive FAIL.
Seven Things Your Name Reveals About You
By: Shannon S. Your name is not as random as you may think it is.
Eight Gadgets That Help You Lose Weight
By: Robert P. Make working out a little more fun by using gadgets.
Oh No, Same Dress!
By: Vicky S. See who wore the same outfit on the red carpet.
Do you want to advertise your website, product or service through ReadTheSmiths.com? That's certainly possible!
We work together with a few of the largest ad networks worldwide. Geo-targeted advertising is supported.
If you want us to make you a custom advertising offer, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you'd like to share your article with the visitors of ReadTheSmiths.com, we invite you to send us an email with your submission. We'd love to publish it!
You can also write us if you have a suggestion or general feedback. We look forward to hearing from you!
This website is run by professional writers Donna Smith (1965) and Julie Michelle Smith (1979) and their families.
Donna and Julie Michelle write mostly about health, travel and beauty related issues, while their husbands, parents and children write about tech, finance and entertainment.