top-rated free essay

To Ban or Not to Ban?

By mariahcarey5 Apr 20, 2013 932 Words
Mariah Smyth
English II Honors
Holzberger
11 May 2012
To Ban or Not to Ban?
Give me literature or give me death.
Why stand we here idle? What is that gentlemen wish? What would they want? Is it text so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of the chains of censorship? Forbid it, almighty god! I know not what course others might take; but ask me give me literature, or give me death! (Parody of “Speech to the Virginia Convention”).

For centuries people have been reading books to gain knowledge and to be entertained (Introductory Assignment Sheet). Kurt Vonnegut did a magnificent job writing a piece threaded with compassion of a tragic historical event leaving behind a conspicuous moral statement.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut should not be removed from shelves, because the book is eye-opening especially for young adults who are soon to enter the real world and become our future. Certain groups decided to challenge harsh reality of the truth written into an educational and humorous read. A school’s board article stated, “We’re not making a judgment call on if the book is good or bad, we just want to make sure it’s age appropriate” (School board removes 2 books from school).

This is NOT an arguable reason considering Billy Pilgrim, the main character in Slaughterhouse-Five, went into war at the age of sixteen. The book states the facts. Vonnegut argues that war is inhumane.

This IS arguable and negotiable; war is deceitful and tears apart homes. Educational supervisors are trying to ban a book that is making children aware of the gruesome effects of war, and warnings to create a more diplomatic world.

Vonnegut served in World War II first handedly and wanted to stress the anxiety war puts upon people. While being a veteran, “Vonnegut once knew the comfort of such a community and home life, and knew also the feeling of having them wrenched away” (Twentieth-Century Writers 1950-1990). His goal in Slaughterhouse-Five was to create a third world era where “Tralfamadorians,” or aliens, known as the enemy took over and demonstrated manifestations of the immaturity of human species for creating war.

Vonnegut’s Dresden bombing in literature explained that, “In the aftermath they were assigned the task of carrying out dead bodies from the ruins. The descriptions of the removal of the bodies are particularly gruesome reminders of the insanity” (Dresden bombing in literature). Vonnegut wanted a moral vision of war cutting social community. After being kidnapped by the extraterrestrial Tralfamadorians he attempted to find peace and learned that the only secret of life is to live only in the happy moments. His embellished comparison to overcoming a tragedy was an honorable mention for young readers. It helps them realize war is unacceptable along with everything that comes with it.

In addition, Vonnegut wanted someone to, “tell him the secret so he can take it back to Earth and save us all: How can a planet live at peace?” (Kurt Vonnegut). Vonnegut stated this in Slaughterhouse-Five meaning war should not be believed to take place on Earth. When coming back from his third world era, “war,” he thought it would be different, but everything came back with him.

Therefore, when young adults read Slaughterhouse-Five they will fathom the idea wars resolve nothing and to create world peace for our future. Also respect everyone who has and is serving in war learning the truth and unpleasant effects.

However, you may argue war is still an issue today and the book is not age appropriate considering it is anti-war and putting horrid images in young reader’s mind. Overall, the book is reality and history. You cannot feed your children lies and candy coat everything. If Billy Pilgrim was capable of entering war at the age of sixteen, young adults are capable of facing the truth and forming opinions for themselves.

Vonnegut wanted to leave behind a message, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change courage to change the things I can and wisdom to always tell me the difference” (Kurt Vonnegut). We cannot change what has already happened, but we can prevent it from happening again. Slaughterhouse-Five sets a good example and should not be banned.

Works Cited
Quinn, Edward. "Dresden bombing in literature." History in Literature: A Reader's Guide to 20th Century History and the Literature it Inspired. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008. Modern World History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp? ItemID=WE53&iPin=HIL056&SingleRecord=True (accessed April 30, 2012). Verde, Tom. "Vonnegut, Kurt." Twentieth-Century Writers 1950–1990, American Profiles. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 1996. (Updated 2007.) American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp? ItemID=WE52&iPin=ffap20w20005&SingleRecord=True (accessed April 30, 2012).Oakes, Elizabeth H. "Vonnegut, Kurt." American Writers, American Biographies. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2004. (Updated 2007.) American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp? ItemID=WE52&iPin=AW237&SingleRecord=True (accessed April 30, 2012)."School board removes 2 books from school". Copyright 2011 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). U.S. Government Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp? p=details.aspx&ItemID=WE36&iPin=UPI-1-20110726-160202-bc-us-bookban-crn&SingleRecord=True (accessed April 30, 2012).“Freedom Readers Assignment Sheet.” 4 May 2010.Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse-Five. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell, 19991. Print. |  |

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • smoking bans

    ...are considered as public places and where tobacco is the most consumed. The effects on this branch of the industry will be discussed in these following paragraphs. The rationale for smoking bans posits that smoking is optional, whereas breathing is not. Therefore, smoking bans exist to protect breathing people from the effect of the second ha...

    Read More
  • Plastic Ban

    ...Plastic Ban 101 We never know the worth of water till the well is dry (Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732). There are garbage everywhere. Water forms are polluted and underwater beauties are damaged due to different activities of humans. Do we still have to wait for the worst to come before we make a move to conserve and protect our environmen...

    Read More
  • Ban on Burqas

    ...Hadee Haque Professor Isip English 1301 France Should Rethink the Ban on Burqa Ever since Islam has begun, in the 7th century, women have been accustomed to wear the burqa. The burqa is a piece of clothing that covers the entire body, only leaving the eyes open. The burqa can be broken down to three pieces; the first piece covers the body fr...

    Read More
  • Lift the Ban

    ... Lift The Ban Pit bulls are the most lovable and loyal type of dogs until they are placed into the hands of the wrong trainers who mistreat, neglect and use them for fighting. Pit bulls used to be one of the most well-liked pets and they used to represent the American Military. Over the years the pit bull became used for fighting dogs and...

    Read More
  • Homework Ban

    ...less -homework revolution How fed-up parents are changing the way sehools think—and how you can, too By Nancy Kallsh Photographs by Brooke Slezak used to be extremely pro-homework. In fact, I once wrote an article for this very magazine telling readers how to get kids to stop whining and knuckle down to work. Back then, I could afford to be...

    Read More
  • Ban a Book

    ...Let’s Ban A Book? It seems we are fast losing our freedoms as American citizens. Personal phone lines are tapped, religious freedoms are no longer allowed to be exercised in public schools, and never before has there been such a threat to America's very existence. Our manufacturing jobs have been leaving the country at a steady rate since ...

    Read More
  • Smoking Bans

    ...A SPEECH A. Topc: The Effects of Public Smoking Bans B. My purpose is to inform my audience about public smoking bans C. It should be in our best interest to exercise this to be conducive to a better smoke free society. Smoking has pernicious effects on those who consume secondhand smoke. Point I. We should better exercise the ban ...

    Read More
  • Smoking Ban

    ...there cigarettes and innocent bystanders has contact to that smoke which can be harmful to their health. In 1972, the surgeon general released a report The Consequence of Smoking which discussed the potential effects of second hand smoke. The first kind of smoking bans came around in the 1970s. Restrictions were implemented on smoking in p...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.