Why was it Banned?
“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a classic novel, receiving the 1961 Pulitzer Prize. Even though it has been deemed classic literature, “To Kill a Mockingbird” still finds itself on the banned books list. The racial content, profanity, and references to rape have caused many to challenge the book and have the novel removed from school libraries and classrooms.
Throughout the novel, vulgar language is used causing many to disagree with the use of “To Kill a Mockingbird” in classrooms. Words such as “damn” and “nigger” are used over and over which many find offensive. The fact that the young children characters are the one’s using this profanity causes many to question the novel and don’t want their children using that type of language because children in the book do.
Race is a constant theme in “To Kill a Mockingbird” which parents find as an excellent example to challenge the book. The Tom Robinson rape case shows that even though he is innocent, he is convicted because of his race. It’s stated several times throughout the book a black person will always be convicted if it’s a white person accusing them. Colored women are depicted as the “help” because they cook, clean, and take care of children for the white families. Racial slurs such as “nigger lover” are used which many find offensive and promotes racism and inequality of the races. This term is a main reason for challenging and banning “To Kill a Mockingbird”.
While Lee presents the idea and concept of rape in a mature way, many find the discussion of rape inappropriate for their children to read. The entire second half of the book is dedicated to telling the story of Tom Robinsons’ rape case and the trial which most find unsuitable and use against schools to ban the book.
"Why was To Kill a Mockingbird banned from schools." The Q&A wiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. <http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_was_To_
When and Where was it Banned?
A few example of where, when, and why the novel was challenged include:
1966- Hanover, Virginia, parents argued that the plot containing rape was immoral. The school received many letters complaining about the novel and its use in classrooms but also received letters from those who found the situations ridiculous and funny.
1968- Second most complained about book receiving negative attention from all over.
1977- Eden Valley, Minnesota for the words “damn” and “whore lady”
1980-Vernon Verona Sherill, N.Y School District as a "filthy, trashy novel"
1981-Warren, Ind.Township schools because the book does "psychological damage to the positive integration process" and "represents institutionalized racism under the guise of good literature"
1984- Waukegan, III. School District because the novel uses the word "nigger."
1996-Banned from the Lindale, Texas advanced placement English reading list because the book "conflicted with the values of the community
2003-Normal, ILL Community High Schools sophomore literature class (2003) as being degrading to African Americans
To this day “To Kill a Mockingbird” is still not approved by most school districts and is not allowed to be used as part of classroom curriculums. “To Kill a Mockingbird” has been removed from all recommended reading lists schools provide students.