Preservation of history first, feelings second

By Cameron Martin

The Precedent (Gilbert, Arizona)

Regardless of what anyone says, the need to preserve history should trump all others. It is vital that our generation and those who come after us remember the past and don’t take history out of context.

Both the good and the bad are absolutely necessary; the good to build off of, and the bad to learn from, and literature is no exception.

Controversial books like Catcher in the Rye, The Color Purple, and Bless Me Ultima, to name a few, are constantly on and off the chopping block across the country in efforts to shelter young teens and minimize their exposure to mature content and adult themes.

Just like the monuments of great Confederate generals, these banned books are not monuments to hate, but failure, and we cannot just sit by and let history be lost as it is torn down and replaced with something people like.

The point of these books like Uncle Tom’s Cabin or To Kill a Mockingbird are to create unease, to provide commentary.  The likes of George Orwell, Harper Lee, Mary Shelley didn’t all write with the intent to offend any one group or race. They wrote with a different purpose: to make you uncomfortable, to incite change. To make you think.

Their books are our gateways to the past, providing valuable insight and highlighting our greatest mistakes to ensure they are never repeated. They cannot just be wiped away and swept under the rug because people find them offensive or oppressive.
We must read them, analyze them, study them in hopes to become better as society and better as people.

Photo Credit: Emma Kline

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