Essay about Why Books Get Banned

1552 Words 7 Pages
Throughout history, books have majorly impacted the societies in which they were written. Many of the most significant classics in history were challenged or even banned by the people of its time. Great novels, such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, have been through their fair share of challenges over the years. People of the 1800s had very strict standards that are very different from ours today, and they did not appreciate it when those beliefs were tested. Three of the most common reasons for challenging books throughout the centuries are sexuality, profanity, and religious beliefs. The question that arises from this information is: what values did the society …show more content…
“Same sex sexual relationships or frequent sex were seen as being unnatural and evil” (Radek). From 1563 until 1885, homosexuality was punishable by death in England. The fact that it was illegal for most of the century, and centuries before that, shows that the mere idea of homosexuality was unacceptable in the society of the 1800s. Many of the core values of the society were based on religious beliefs, and homosexuality did not agree with those values. In 1855, poet Walt Whitman released Leaves of Grass, a collection of his poetry. Several accused Whitman of being a homosexual and found the book distasteful for its homoerotic material (Miller 630). Dr. Nancy Reagin is a professor of History and Women’s & Gender Studies at Pace University. The course page for Victorian Women: The Gender of Oppression states, “… adultery … was considered perverted and unnatural” (Reagin). During the very religious 19th century, adultery was viewed as a great sin. The act was greatly looked down upon and was even against the law in some places. Committing adultery could result in a person being ostracized, put in prison, or even executed. The Scarlet Letter (1850) by Nathaniel Hawthorne was banned throughout the United States for various reasons, the topic of adultery being one of them. Hester Prynne, the main character of the novel, was shamed when she was found guilty of committing adultery. Many found this offensive due to the fact

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