Favorite Lines from Favorite Banned Books

Hey! It’s Banned Books Week!

I love this week for 2 reasons- 1.) It celebrates the freedom to read and being a rebel, and 2.) BOTH sides of the political spectrum can agree that freedom of speech, in this incident, is a GOOD thing. Hallelujah!

For Banned Books Week I have compiled a list (among other things) of my favorite lines from my favorite literary masterpieces that have been banned at one time.

Brave New World- Aldous Huxley

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The story of a dystopian society where humans are manufactured and controlled by drugs- and one man’s struggle with living in it.

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”

“I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly.”

“If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.”

The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Stephen Chobsky

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“So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

“I would die for you. But I won’t live for you.”

“And I thought about how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. And how much those songs really mean. I think it would be great to have written one of those songs. I bet if I wrote one of them, I would be very proud. I hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. I hope they feel it’s enough. I really do because they’ve made me happy. And I’m only one person.”

The Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger

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“Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.”

“I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It’s nice.”

“Almost every time somebody gives me a present, it ends up making me sad.”

Of Mice and Men- John Steinbeck

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“His ear heard more than what was said to him, and his slow speech had overtones not of thought, but of understanding beyond thought.”

“Ain’t many guys travel around together,” he mused. “I don’t know why. Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”

“At about 10 o’clock in the morning the sun threw a bright dust-laden bar through one of the side windows and in and out of the beam flies shot like rushing stars.”

Go Ask Alice- Beatrice Sparks

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“It’s a good thing most people bleed on the inside or this would be a gory, blood-smeared earth.”

“The same old dumb teachers teaching the same old dumb subjects in the same old dumb school. I seem to be kind of losing interest in everything. At first I thought high school would be fun but it’s just dull. Everything’s dull. Maybe it’s because I’m growing up and life is becoming more blase.”

“I can’t believe that I changed so little. I expected to look old and hollow and gray, but I guess it’s only me on the inside that has shriveled and deteriorated.”

1984- George Orwell

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“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”

“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

“Orthodoxy means not thinking–not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”

“Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.”

*I had to include more than 3 for this one!

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest- Ken Kesey

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“If you don’t watch it people will force you one way or the other, into doing what they think you should do, or into just being mule-stubborn and doing the opposite out of spite.”

“We’d just shared the last beer and slung the empty can out the window at a stop sign and were just waiting back to get the feel of the day, swimming in that kind of tasty drowsiness that comes over you after a day of going hard at something you enjoy doing — half sunburned and half drunk and keeping awake only because you wanted to savor the taste as long as you could.”

“But the rest are even scared to open up and laugh. You know, that’s the first thing that got me about this place, that there wasn’t anybody laughing. I haven’t heard a real laugh since I came through that door, do you know that? Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.”

A Clockwork Orange- Anthony Burgess

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“When a man cannot chose, he ceases to be a man.”

“The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.”

“If he can only perform good or only perform evil, then he is a clockwork orange—meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil.”

These novels just scratch the surface of banned books- let alone challenged books. For more information on banned books, click here.

And like I always say, celebrate Banned Books Week by reading and basking in the glory that you have the freedom to read sex-crazed, racist, satanic, sacrilegious, and offensive books.

So, what are your favorite banned books?

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