Banned books in the Cawse Library - St Andrew's College

Banned books in the Cawse Library

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Banned books in the Cawse Library

Robert Shaw, Jaspar Donald and Mitchell Coventry.

When one thinks of banned books one thinks of oppressive political dictators controlling the minds of their citizens. One can think of our own Nelson Mandela whose words and ideas were banned during the Apartheid years. Stalin’s fear of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s “One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich” criticizing the Stalinist regime or Germany’s banning of Erich Maria Remarque’s “All Quiet on the Western Front”. What one does not associate with book banning is outlawing the adorable and wise ‘Winnie the Pooh’ or ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

The library monitors helped me to mount a banned book display to show how opinions have changed over the years and how good literature has survived its initial banning. To quote some examples of books on the display are Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ George Orwell’s ‘1984’ which was a warning against totalitarianism and remained banned in the Soviet Union until 1988. The ‘Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini and Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaids Tale’ to name just a few.

Hopefully if the boys take time to look at the display, they will be able to make up their own minds on what to read. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, ‘If all printers were determined not to print anything til they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed”

Mrs Mel Webb

Cawse Librarian