Summary and Critiquing of Solitude and the Fortresses of Youth
In the article, “Solitude and the Fortresses of Youth,” Michael Chabon explains how censorship of today’s arts will be bad. He explains in detail how censoring is not going to work because the teenage mind is so elaborate that they are going to have deviant thoughts and some need to express these feelings through writing. In this essay, I will be explaining the main ideas of Chabon’s article such as the examples he gives about the trouble censorship causes and his explanation of how he thinks censorship limits young writers to the content of their work.
In the beginning of the article, Chabon gives examples of students being expelled from school for putting too much detail and emphasis into their work. The student that he describes wrote a “horror” story and the disturbing details of “Sexual torture, dismemberment, and bloodlust” (313) in his creative writing class. The class instructor turned the student in to her supervisor even though it was not the first troubling story she had read in her classroom. The instructor was then laid off for assigning such a violent story. The student was then spoken to by a criminal profiler, who saw no threat in the student and no criminal charges were placed against him. Chabon points out that this student wasn’t the only one that this has happened to. He tells of other students being expelled and even prosecuted because of their work in the classroom.
In the next section, Chabon explains that this is a violation of these student’s rights. He makes the point that teenagers have a very broad imagination and even if it is full of violent and disturbing thoughts, they should be able to express that feeling freely. He understands that we have all had these thoughts as these students did, but we don’t see that when we look at other people. We see them as a threat and that makes us fearful of what they could be capable of. He speaks of the Bill of Rights being read...
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