Analysis of “Censorship: A Personal View” .
Write a summary for Judy Blume’s article, “Censorship: A Personal View
Attached an analysis of Judy Blume’s article, “Censorship: A Personal View”
Analysis of “Censorship: A Personal View”
In her essay “Censorship: A Personal View,” Judy Blume discusses the controversial topic of censorship, specifically within children’s books. She touches on her own experience as a child and as an author dealing with banned books. She explains the reasoning of pro-censorship advocates and offers an alternative to censorship. Even though her status as an author makes her credible, her credibility alone cannot justify her entire argument.
Judy Blume uses her personal experience to argue the idea of censorship and proposes an alternative. She starts her essay recounting her first interaction with censorship and continues to discuss her experiences as an author with her own books being banned. She includes her personal views on how to handle topics people feel should be prohibited from children. She also adds that books should open up conversation between parents and their children. Blume states that we should not let fear be a deciding factor on what is right or wrong but rather be informed and educated about the things we fear. She also states, if implemented, censorship is a personal choice and parents should not decide what is and is not appropriate for everyone else’s children.
What strengthens her argument is her credibility; she has experiences as a banned author, a mother and is involved in the National Coalition Against Censorship. She targets an audience of adult fans, as well as anti-censorship advocates. To get her audience engaged, Blume plays on their emotions as she reflects on her early childhood experience with censorship. She tries to make the readers think back to a similar situation when their own curiosity led them to wonder about material deemed “inappropriate” by their parents.
Blume has a flaw in logic towards her opponents in two places. When she states, “those who were most active…came from the ‘religious right’” (299). She should first, explain this term because the reader might not know that “right” is synonymous with “conservative.” Second, whether it be true or not, she provides no evidence of her claim so her faulty generalization is illogical, which hurts her argument. Again, in another instance Blume uses faulty generalization when stating, “So now we had individual parents …waving books, demanding their removal-books they hadn’t read…” (299). This statement supports her claim that many opponents didn’t read what they were protesting but only passages given to them. However, she doesn’t know for sure that parents didn’t read the actual book and has no proof.
What also hurts her argument is her use of a sarcastic tone, and name calling of her opponents. She uses terms such as “the Sex Police, and the Language Police” to insult those who disagree with her (300).
Blume believes that her opponents want to censor and ban controversial books because they are afraid to talk to their children about topics such as, puberty, menstruation and masturbation. This assumption is flawed because she should not assume that everybody who is an advocate for censorship has the same reasoning for their support.
Blume’s claims that censorship should be decided among the parents and those censorship supporters should not decide that for everybody is correct. This is true because the job of parents is to take care of and support their children to maturity, not everybody else’s. However, the idea that Blume’s opponents “were happy to jump on the bandwagon” out of fear and confusion, is incorrect and insulting (299). She has no evidence to support her claims. Many parents may have read some of her books, such as Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, which mentions female sexuality, or Deenie, which deals with masturbation and felt those topics were not suitable to discuss with the child at that point in their life. (Keep in mind Blume’s books are aimed at elementary and middle school children.)
In conclusion, Blume’s piece “Censorship: A Personal View,” was used to argue the hot topic of censorship in children’s literature. She included personal experience when dealing with censorship in her early and adult life. She proposes an alternative to censorship and shares her views on those who support censorship. Her personal experience alone can’t be the only thing that holds this essay together. The overall success of this essay is mild; while she does offer good reasoning why her views are correct, Blume should have provided a fair platform for pro-censorship advocates so the reader could have a full understanding of both sides of the argument.
Blume, Judy. “Censorship: A Personal View.” Perspectives on Contemporary Issues: Readings Across the Disciplines. 6th ed. Ed. Katherine Anne Ackley. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage, 2011. 297-302. Print.
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