They say the pen is mightier than the sword. Never an adage been true. It’s no wonder that many books all throughout human history has been feared by some people and banned. The written word, when used properly, has a devastating effect in that it can affect the human spirit that no other form of art or coercion can.
There have been many books that at one time or another been banned not only because of the controversial nature of the subject but also because the writing itself has become a voice to represent those whose voices have not been heard. Below are some books that have been banned at some point but are, nevertheless (or because of it) have immense literary value
1. Brave New World
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is one of the perfect examples of a utopian dysfunction and Huxley ably described his views about it in his book. It’s a subversive book, like the others in this list, it presented an idea that most people found revolutionary, and for some, dangerous. A society that has steadily achieved perfection in exchange for its humanity resonates with themes that are more relevant now than when it was first written. It’s truly a remarkable book.
2. Uncle Tom’s Cabin
The issue of race is a volatile one and Harriett Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is the work that would have a great effect in the United States and would be instrumental in inciting a change in how African Americans and slavery are viewed within the country. The novel’s effect was so profound that it would even help in intensifying the conflict that would eventually result in the American Civil War.
3. A Clockwork Orange
Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange may be more recognizable today because of the film adaptation directed by Stanley Kubrick. But just like the movie itself, the novel is a controversial piece of work in part because of the anarchic youth described in the novel. Burgess even used as a narrator as a narrative device but this is one narrator that is not at all a sympathetic character but one that does his actions without justification.
4. The Lord of The Flies
Count on time to change how some things are seen, William Golding’s Lord of The Flies has been included in the American Library Association’s list of the most frequently challenged books from 1990 to 2000. This is a book that has always polarized those who have read it.
The allegorical tale of man’s true human nature has been a much talked about topic, especially since he used young boys to tell his tale. It’s a brilliant decision to place a study of man’s savagery as juxtaposed with the innocence of childhood. And by the end of the book, when Ralph relizes that he’ll be saved and cries, you almost feel like crying too because you know that Ralph has lost his innocence – and you’ve realized that you’ve also lost the last vestiges of your own.
5. The Lutheran Bible
A list on banned books won’t be complete without the inclusion of Martin Luther’s version of the Bible. Upon its release, the book was immediately put in the Index of Forbidden Books. As banned and controversial books go, few can come close to the Lutheran Bible’s notoriety.
James Gray has a life-long interest in politics, travel, the environment, and global affairs. He works in IT but his heart truly beats for the written word.