Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Fighting the Norm

As Megan said in her post, I too wish I had known about this book long before this class. I can completely relate to feeling like a social outcast during my middle school years, and not knowing what to do or who to turn to. The difference, however, is that Meg handles her status as somewhat of a social pariah with a wisdom far beyond her years. She frequently challenges what is considered socially acceptable, or the norm, and this theme ties in directly with our class discussions. Conformity is expected in our society, but there are those that refuse to conform, and it is these individuals that face controversy and criticism. We have seen it in the songs presented, as well as in the novels we have read thus far.

Like other students, I was also extremely curious as to why this novel has been banned so frequently, and it all centers around the religious elements present in A Wrinkle in Time. Jesus is named along with famous philosophers, artists, scientists, and other notable historical figures. One would think this presentation is flattering, but many critics say it brings Jesus down a peg and makes him seem too human. Further reading revealed that the author is from a school of liberal Christianity, and her presentation of witchcraft, crystal balls, and the battle between light and dark all incensed people to ban the book and condemn it as heretical and damaging. Of course, Harry Potter has also been banned for these same reasons concerning magic, and that in itself seems completely ridiculous. The same can be said for this novel, as I do not understand why a book that touches on sensitive issues present during adolescence and that can be helpful in dealing with those problems has been marked as controversial and detrimental. It is unfair to prevent young people from reading this novel because it truly does give preteens and teenagers a relatable character: Meg. Instead of focusing on the positive aspects of non-conformity and learning how to cope with the challenges of growing up, critics have ignored all of this and turned it into a discussion focused around religion. This is a demonstration of the narrow-minded thinking that is present when a novel is banned.

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