Seven Literary Classics You’ll Be Surprised Were Banned


Many books have been banned, torn apart, or burned through the eons of time. But some of the reasons they have been outlawed are laughable. Here are seven classics you may be familiar with that were banned for absurd reasons.


1.       Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The children’s classic was banned in the province of Hunan, China, in 1931, because it showed animals having the same intelligence as humans. The censor, General Ho Chien, believed that attributing human language to animals was an insult to the human race. He also feared that the book would teach children to regard humans and animals on the same level, which would be, as he defined it, “disastrous.”


“Topics of the Times”. The New York Times. 5 May 1931. p. 26. ISSN 0362-4331.


2.       All Quiet On The Western Front. This novel was banned in Nazi Germany for being demoralizing and insulting to the German army. The Nazi party also burned many copies because they believed it would inspire fewer men to enlist in the army.


Grannis, Chandler B.; Haight, Anne (Lyon) (1978). Banned books, 387 B. C. to 1978 A. D. New York: R. R. Bowker. p. 80. ISBN 0-8352-1078-2.


3.       Green Eggs and Ham. Yes, believe it or not, Dr. Seuss’s classic was banned in China for its portrayal of early Marxism.


Karolides et al., pp. 72–76


4.       The Diary of Anne Frank. The diary was banned in Lebanon for “portraying Jews, Israel or Zionism favorably.” Also, in 1983, four members of the Alabama State Textbook Committee called for the ban of the diary because it was “a real downer.”


Marling, William. (2009-05-01) Why Jane Fonda Is Banned in Beirut – Retrieved on 2010-05-09.


5.       Frankenstein. This classic was banned in apartheid controlled South Africa in 1955 for containing “obscene” or “indecent” material.


“Banned Books Online”. Penn University.


6.       The Grapes of Wrath. Banned because it made rural Californians look dumb.


7.       Black Beauty. Banned in South Africa because it was believed to be racially offensive for having the word “black” in the title.



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