Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. — Alfred Whitney Griswald
Banned Books Mugshots: Alaska Young (Looking for Alaska), Janie Crawford (Their Eyes Were Watching God), Holden Caulfield (The Catcher in the Rye), Harry Potter (Harry Potter), and Hester Prynne (The Scarlet Letter).
Banned Books Week is September 22 - 28! Visit Banned Books Week’s site or the American Library Association’s banned books page for more information!
Two major themes of the novel are hypocrisy and responsibility. I wanted to show how humans can have ugly feelings that they might prefer not to acknowledge; how we’re all caught up in our own problems and limited by our own life experience. To judge somebody else, to declare them substandard, to conclude that their misfortunes are due to inherent character flaws, can be a way of boosting our own self-esteem, because it must follow that our comparative success or happiness is not mere luck or chance, but the reward for superior morals or talent.
Yet none of that has to stop us doing wonderful things; perfection is not necessary to make a real and lasting difference to other people’s lives.
Pair with the indispensable The Spirituality of Imperfection, then follow up with Rowling’s superb Harvard commencement address on the benefits of failure.