The Role Of Censorship In Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak

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Most modern day books have a point to prove or a lesson to be taught, they educate the readers even in the most subliminal ways. Not only can novels teach their readers about facts or situations, but also how to deal with problems. Although some books can be highly educational some people do not like the content, and try to ban the book from schools or other functions where the novel could have high educational value. By examining Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel Speak, one can see that although it has graphic images, the value it has to educate the reader about the horrors of rape, the depression that results from it and the value of teacher – student relationships that the novel should be a choice on all young readers list. This novel has had…show more content…
Censorship is the practice of limiting access to information, ideas or books to prevent knowledge or freedom of thought. Two men who have fought to have the book banned are Wesley Scroggins and Richard Sweir. Wesley is from Missouri and wanted the book banned in 2010, and Richard is from Flordia and fought for the book to be banned in 2013. Both men wanted the book to be banned because they thought of it as pornography. In an article about Wesley’s argument of the book they say “The "soft pornography" bit comes from the description of two rape scenes. Kind of sick to think about Scroggins seeing the rape scene as something to get off on” (The Pitch. 23 Sept. 2010. Web.). An article about Richard’s argument says “Swier and his supporters act upon these books the way they are because they want to shield their children from the horrors of adulthood” (Bray and Books. 15 July 2013. Web.). The article about Wesley shows how the rape scene should not be considered pornography considering rape is a horrifying…show more content…
This novel shows how rape can have terrible effects on the victims. Throughout the book it describes Melinda’s struggle with loss of friends, being a victim of bullying, lack of a good family life, constant harassment by her rapist and mainly her depression. All these effects are caused by the rape and these all contribute to her depression, in part of the novel when something sets her off Melinda results to cutting herself. After school she went home and sat in her closet and described the situation, “I open up a paper clip and scratch it across the inside of my left wrist… I draw little windowcracks of blood, etching line after line until it stops hurting” (Anderson 87). Although this is a graphic image it shows the effects of being raped, it causes depression which results in self-harming action such as this. Effects that came after Melinda’s rape caused her harm and show how badly rape can affect a victim. The book presents realistic images that can relate to readers and educate them on the subject of depression. Speak should be a novel on all young readers list, it educates people not only on rape but also the effects that it can have on the victims, such as depression as most rape victims develop. There are little occurrences that can help the victims such as Melinda, people such as someone the victim looks up to can have positive effects on their depression and help them

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