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teeniebeenie6

Shocked that this book is on the Grade 11 common core reading list. Scary!

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I thought (one of) your points was that there would be pressure to assign the book because there were only about 20 books on the list. I guess I'm just having trouble understanding people's points in this thread... they seem to keep shifting.

 

 

That was one of her points.

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I haven't read this one, but Black Like Me would address being an African American in American society. It is the late fifties so a later date and male instead of female, but maybe it would work.

 

Also, I certainly think of Summer of My German Soldier and Farewell to Manzanar as being for a younger audience, but isn't it Black Like Me intended for an older audience?

 

 

I read it in 10th grade. That year I also read Native Son, which has a very explicit and detailed murder/beheading in it, told from the point of the killer.

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Words like filth, trash, and pedos wet dream are just unbelievable insulting. This is TONI MORRISON!! A great American author who writes about the black American experience. I swear, when I read some of these comments, it makes me embarrassed to tell people I homeschool.

??? Do you mean that some public school parents wouldn't say the same things or we say these things because we homeschool?

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THis is not literature.  THis is Satan getting into the minds and hearts of our children in a whole new way. Many of you keep mentioning your daughters...what about your sons reading this book?  I cannot for the life of me imagine any circumstance under which any human being should read this filth.

 

This book should not even be on the list.  And I'm sorry, but there are only about 20 books on the list to begin with for that age range, so it's likely that there is going to be pressure from the teachers to assign this book.  

 

This is, by far,the most amusing post in this thread. And I don't say that lightly.

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There is nothing gentle about sexual assault. Part of the reason books like this have been meaningful to me as a survivor is that I do not feel that something I am all too familiar with is being glossed over, watered down or trivialized. Or at the crux of it, made palatable for others. It's not palatable. It shouldn't be easy to read about. It shouldn't be minimized or hidden so that people can live easy comfortable lives. Life is neither easy or comfortable for the vast majority of humans.

 

I agree.

 

I don't know Morrison's intent, but if I had to guess I would say that the detail is not intended to be salacious, but to give the reader nowhere to hide. It's so explicit and shines such a bright light on the act that there is nowhere to go, no way to read a euphemism and gloss over it in your mind. It's very disturbing and reading those passages made me feel like like I was crouched in a spotlight, trying to find a place to hide, wondering when it would end. Perhaps it intended to provide a much milder parallel of the victim's experience. Very effective and disturbing, if that was the intent. 

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You know, I find it pretty disrespectful the way some people are talking about Morrison. She's one of your national living treasures and a Nobel Prize winner. To refer to her books as the work of Satan is just mind boggling.

 

I disagree with book banning and censorship, yet if pressed I would support the right of a parent or student to request the study of an alternative book. I would especially support it in individual circumstances where specific incidents in the book could act as a trigger.

 

Kudos to the poster who actually read the book and still found it distasteful. That's a reader's choice.

 

But people, tone down the language. Agree or disagree on the literary or artistic merits, but don't abuse a writer who has worked extraordinarily hard at her craft and is critically acknowledged as one of your best writers.

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How about Little Altars Everywhere? It is a white family, but it covers many the same things within the family. The incest is mother/ son and it is not covered in the graphic detail used in The Bluest Eye. Also, the writing in Little Altars shows that the children's entire lives are not horrible. There were chapters where I laughed so hard that I had to put the book down and chapters where I cried and had to put the book down.

 

HTH-

Mandy

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I think the point of Morrison's book is to show black lived experience, so no, a book about a white family probably wouldn't fill that same space in the curriculum.

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:( her mother doesn't believe her and beats her she becomes pregnant the baby is born premature and dies she looses her mind and thinks she has blue eyes :(

 

The father does die though

 

This is not a kiddie book. There is no happily ever after.

Mandy

Thank you.

 

Yeah, that's definitely a book I'd have thrown across the room while reading because I'd have been mad at the author for not making it better! But I can understand what the author is doing.

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How about Little Altars Everywhere? It is a white family, but it covers many the same things within the family. The incest is mother/ son and it is not covered in the graphic detail used in The Bluest Eye. Also, the writing in Little Altars shows that the children's entire lives are not horrible. There were chapters where I laughed so hard that I had to put the book down and chapters where I cried and had to put the book down.

 

HTH-

Mandy

Rebecca Wells is never going to win a Nobel Prize for the YaYa Sisterhood books. It's a perfectly fine set of readable books, but she is nowhere up to the literary standard or level of Toni Morrison. The quality of her work is one reason why she is assigned so often.

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Exactly, LS. Maybe posters who have the problem of having an 11th grader assigned this novel in public school - not sure how many there are in this thread - could do some independent research on why Morrison is assigned, could understand the book in context, could read the book for themselves and could make an informed decision about it. And maybe they could do that without vilifying the author and her intentions.

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There is nothing gentle about sexual assault. Part of the reason books like this have been meaningful to me as a survivor is that I do not feel that something I am all too familiar with is being glossed over, watered down or trivialized. Or at the crux of it, made palatable for others. It's not palatable. It shouldn't be easy to read about. It shouldn't be minimized or hidden so that people can live easy comfortable lives. Life is neither easy or comfortable for the vast majority of humans. I know that there is a diversity of opinion on the matter from those who are sexual assault survivors and I don't presume to tell others they should feel as I do, but that is my personal experience and personal opinion which is not formed in the abstract or without really reading the material. I was deeply benefited by a high quality study of difficult modern American literature as a "child" of 14-17. I do see that there are students that same age who are not up to the task and as a mom, I understand why anyone would be cautious about when/if their particular child read a book with such content. But there are, IME, plenty of students that are ready for this type of material before they cross the 18 threshold.

 

Toni Morrison is not VC Andrews or Twilight or some pulp erotica author. Her books explore the profound and complex, not the popular or simple. To call a Nobel Laureate's work "trash", "filth", "porn" and "wet dreams" is disgusting. It's impossible to have a valuable conversation on those very dumbed down, simplest possible terms.

 

+1 to the bolded.

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I agree.

 

I don't know Morrison's intent, but if I had to guess I would say that the detail is not intended to be salacious, but to give the reader nowhere to hide. It's so explicit and shines such a bright light on the act that there is nowhere to go, no way to read a euphemism and gloss over it in your mind. It's very disturbing and reading those passages made me feel like like I was crouched in a spotlight, trying to find a place to hide, wondering when it would end. Perhaps it intended to provide a much milder parallel of the victim's experience. Very effective and disturbing, if that was the intent. 

 

Exactly.

And anyone calling writing of that nature "pornography" is intellectually shallow.

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Thank you.

 

Yeah, that's definitely a book I'd have thrown across the room while reading because I'd have been mad at the author for not making it better! But I can understand what the author is doing.

This reminds me of when I heard the author Sapphire speak on her Push book tour. Push is the book that the movie Precious is based on. The main character is Precious, an HIV positive obese teenager pregnant (again) by her father who lives in a slum project. She said that a publisher wanted her to make the ending hopeful/better by having Precious lose weight and get a boyfriend. I recall thinking "yeah, that would be nicer" but it would also be very unlikely/not true to life. I would say accepting unhappy and/or ambitious endings is part of the maturation process. Which is why all G rated movies end happily. But high school is closer to R than preschool. Grapes of Wrath, which is on a lot of hs school reading lists, doesn't end with the family getting their own slice of the American Dream. The water is rising, the end seems near and not good.

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I disagree with book banning and censorship, yet if pressed I would support the right of a parent or student to request the study of an alternative book.

Censorship would be people saying that the book should be removed from the library, not simply thinking teachers should forgo assigning the novel to high school juniors.

 

I wouldn't stop my children from reading it in 11th grade but neither would I assign or encourage them to read it.

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This reminds me of when I heard the author Sapphire speak on her Push book tour. Push is the book that the movie Precious is based on. The main character is Precious, an HIV positive obese teenager pregnant (again) by her father who lives in a slum project. She said that a publisher wanted her to make the ending hopeful/better by having Precious lose weight and get a boyfriend. I recall thinking "yeah, that would be nicer" but it would also be very unlikely/not true to life. I would say accepting unhappy and/or ambitious endings is part of the maturation process. Which is why all G rated movies end happily. But high school is closer to R than preschool. Grapes of Wrath, which is on a lot of hs school reading lists, doesn't end with the family getting their own slice of the American Dream. The water is rising, the end seems near and not good.

I'm Christian so that colors my perspective for sure. I think it is important to deal with tough issues and I don't expect happy endings for every book. But I think in the context of a novel, there can be hope for change or something hopeful, something beyond the awful reality. Does that make any sense?

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Censorship would be people saying that the book should be removed from the library, not simply thinking teachers should forgo assigning the novel to high school juniors.

 

I wouldn't stop my children from reading it in 11th grade but neither would I assign or encourage them to read it.

 

 

Censorship is also banning books within the family, something I acknowledge you are not suggesting.

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I'm Christian so that colors my perspective for sure. I think it is important to deal with tough issues and I don't expect happy endings for every book. But I think in the context of a novel, there can be hope for change or something hopeful, something beyond the awful reality. Does that make any sense?

As a reader and a mom, I like happier or at least less soul crushing endings. Absolutely. But in the context of a novel examining the cold realities, a happier ending isn't always appropriate or even real. Often the most powerful books have challenging and sad endings. In a popular, mass market bestseller, we can accept that at the end of Harry Potter, the three main characters all live and get to marry their first loves. But if I reread an edited version of Push with a thinner, dating Precious I don't know that I could accept it. I might be pretty angry even if I was heart glad for Precious. It's not a sitcom. Not everyone rises or overcomes. As humans, we know that and I think would rebel over fairy tale endings to the nitty gritty awful side of life.

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I'm Christian so that colors my perspective for sure. I think it is important to deal with tough issues and I don't expect happy endings for every book. But I think in the context of a novel, there can be hope for change or something hopeful, something beyond the awful reality. Does that make any sense?

But the point may be that there is nothing beyond the awful reality. And to change that wouldn't be true to the experience.

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Exactly, LS. Maybe posters who have the problem of having an 11th grader assigned this novel in public school - not sure how many there are in this thread - could do some independent research on why Morrison is assigned, could understand the book in context, could read the book for themselves and could make an informed decision about it. And maybe they could do that without vilifying the author and her intentions.

 

Yes. I understand being repulsed by the excerpts. I'll be frank, I look at my sweet 6yo and 4yo and think, "They will never see or read things so awful!" I understand the wish not to be exposed to such negative emotions and images. I also think back to my own high school experience, and how seemingly little I got from the literature we read. I can't help wondering if giving powerful literature to teenagers is throwing pearls before swine.

 

But the reason I'm attracted the the WTM, the reason I'm reading the WEM and about to embark on my own literary re-education, is because I want more for my kids. I want them to be able to participate in the Great Conversation, to think deeply about important subjects and contribute their own bit. I definitely want them to be able to tackle works of greater weight than Harry Potter. So if I don't think they can handle Morrison at 16/17/18, how are they supposed to handle Plato or Dante or Kant or Dostoyevsky? We give our teenagers too little credit. I think that with proper preparation and a parent/tutor who's willing to guide their experience, kids are capable of getting meaning from any of these. So I would like to think they can perform a reasonable analysis on and learn from The Bluest Eye as well. Apparently, the authors of the CCSS appendix of exemplars would like to think so too, to imagine a world where American high school graduates don't run screaming from works of great importance even if those works are difficult to navigate.

 

I can understand parents being reluctant to see this one specific extremely difficult theme of incestuous rape brought up at this specific age. I cannot understand parents rejecting the novel as porn, trash, or Satan -- especially without actually reading it (or even decent literary criticism of it) or proposing alternatives. And the statement that details are never necessary belies a mindset that apparently doesn't regard any powerful, emotional literature as worthwhile. This blows my mind regardless, but in the context of a message board primarily dedicated to the virtues of a classical education? I just...I don't even.

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Since there seems to be such wonderful, equivalent works that are less graphic, anyone care to share titles?

  

The point of The Bluest Eyes isn't just the incestuous relationship. A book on tragic family relationships and/ or sexuality or awakenings and a book about the African American experience or another minority living with American norms of beauty projected (or what is prefered) in fashion, literature, and IRL situations and the impact that has on their lives.

Let me think on that one.

Mandy

  

I think the point of Morrison's book is to show black lived experience, so no, a book about a white family probably wouldn't fill that same space in the curriculum.

 

I agree, but there are several themes that could possibly be addressed with other books.

Rebecca Wells is never going to win a Nobel Prize for the YaYa Sisterhood books. It's a perfectly fine set of readable books, but she is nowhere up to the literary standard or level of Toni Morrison. The quality of her work is one reason why she is assigned so often.

I totally agree, but I was looking for books that would provide a more gentle introduction to some of the things covered in The Bluest Eye for those who want gentle coverage in order to provoke thought, but are opposed to using that book due to graphic content.

 

Jr High

Summer of My German Soldier

Farewell to Manzanar

 

High School

Black Like Me

Little Altars Everywhere

 

Anyway, I did give Little Altars to my oldest to read when he was in high school. For discussion of themes the easier reading level was actually a bonus. Just trying to find some books that are gentler/ not quite as dark or graphic for those who asked.

 

A transition isn't a bad thing for those students who have never been exposed to darker topics. Any other suggestions?

Mandy

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I haven't read this one, but Black Like Me would address being an African American in American society. It is the late fifties so a later date and male instead of female, but maybe it would work.

 

Also, I certainly think of Summer of My German Soldier and Farewell to Manzanar as being for a younger audience, but isn't it Black Like Me intended for an older audience?

 

It was also written two generations ago by a white guy in blackface playing race tourist.  It's interesting as a piece of historical pop-sociology, but it's not in any way literature, and it's kind of jaw-dropping that this and Rebecca Wells (books that takes place in the south in the 60s, and do they even have any black characters?  I don't remember any, but it was many years ago that I read them.  They were okay, but if they were assigned in a high school literature class, I would consider that a justification of homeschooling) are the two that have been suggested to replace Toni Morrison.

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I'm Christian so that colors my perspective for sure. I think it is important to deal with tough issues and I don't expect happy endings for every book. But I think in the context of a novel, there can be hope for change or something hopeful, something beyond the awful reality. Does that make any sense?

I think we all have that hope, however reality does not permit it. I mentioned the quote by Chesterton earlier and someone said something about how the monsters in fairytales aren't real and good and evil is black and white in such stories. I agree it is much more clear in fairytales, we need these stories when we are small, we need to see the rules of life and know we are safe but as we grow older we realize that everything isn't black and white, real evil exists and there isn't always a happy ending. I think that encountering these themes in literature provides a great opportunities for discussion and contemplation. Unfortunately our children are not likely to have fairy tale lives and I think introducing the realities of life in lit is a positive thing.

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It was also written two generations ago by a white guy in blackface playing race tourist. It's interesting as a piece of historical pop-sociology, but it's not in any way literature, and it's kind of jaw-dropping that this and Rebecca Wells (books that takes place in the south in the 60s, and do they even have any black characters? I don't remember any, but it was many years ago that I read them. They were okay, but if they were assigned in a high school literature class, I would consider that a justification of homeschooling) are the two that have been suggested to replace Toni Morrison.

You know I like Toni Morrison and have been arguing for The Bluest Eye and against book banning all during this thread. However, some people are not comfortable with some of the graphic content and wanted suggestions for alternatives to introduce their children to darker topics in preparation for darker books that might be covered in college. Everything a child reads shouldn't be maxing out his reading ability unless you just are trying to burn him out. At home where we are going to assign many, many more than 4 books a year, there is plenty of room for books that are not perhaps the most difficult or award winning, but are engaging and cover topics we find relevant.

 

If you have other suggestions, please add them. :)

Mandy

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God help us. I'm done.

After reading so many posts calling this vulgar piece of garbage art, so am I.

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THis is not literature.  THis is Satan getting into the minds and hearts of our children in a whole new way. Many of you keep mentioning your daughters...what about your sons reading this book?  I cannot for the life of me imagine any circumstance under which any human being should read this filth.

 

This book should not even be on the list.  And I'm sorry, but there are only about 20 books on the list to begin with for that age range, so it's likely that there is going to be pressure from the teachers to assign this book.  

 

Satan?  Really?  No.  Get a grip. 

 

Don't read it if you don't want, but it's Nobel Prize winning literature.  It is intended to take the reader out of his/her comfort zone.  It is intended to stretch the reader to analyze. It is intended to be thought-provoking.  It does not glorify incest, or rape, or racism.  Quite the contrary.  

 

I get that some of the content may be a trigger for some readers, but the majority of adults, even young adults, should have the maturity level to be able to thoughtfully process and appreciate the work for what it is. 

 

ETA:  Ok, this actual book didn't win the Nobel Prize, so what I should have said was that this is literature by a Nobel Prize winning writer.  Still, the rest of my message remains the same. 

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I'm Christian so that colors my perspective for sure. I think it is important to deal with tough issues and I don't expect happy endings for every book. But I think in the context of a novel, there can be hope for change or something hopeful, something beyond the awful reality. Does that make any sense?

 

It makes sense to me, but let me go about it this way:

 

As a Christian, you believe one has to hear and except the word of Christ to be saved, correct?  You know that there are people in the world who never been reached by , say, a missionary.  Have you ever needed reminding of that?  (Not specifically you.)

 

Let's say this person is a young African boy who is kidnapped by some rebel group, drugged, turned into a soldier who does horrible, dispicable things.  He never had a chance.  Some people are born into this world with very little hope.  Knowing this much of his story, are you moved to do anything?  Do you have sympathy for him?  Do you understand his way of thinking?  If you were given more details of his plight, how he was abused and how he abused, when would your sympathy toward him to to anger?  Can you still have sympathy for the monster that he has become?  

 

I have never read the TM book.  I will soon, though I'm apprehensive.  Books like this one stick with me way too long.  But from reading a little about the book, I'm wondering if the author puts in the awful details that she does to lead the readers to a better understanding of how powerless this father feels.  I'm assuming that we all understand that rape is not about sex or love, but it's about power.  I read that the book is set during the Depression.  That's a time when a lot of people felt powerless.  I'm thinking that a black man, in a time and place where he is looked at as unequal to a white man, where there are Jim Crow laws to keep him down, and maybe has been abused by family that has been just as desparate as himself, is looking for his own power.  This, of course, would not be an excuse for what he did but a reason.  

 

Like I said, I don't know if any of this is what TM was going for, because I haven't read the book - yet.  But I would like to keep in mind that this father character came up in a situation that made him feel powerless.  Sometimes, people overcome the adversity, sometimes they don't.  I will most likely be disgusted by him, but I could have a little sympathy towards him also?  I'm ok with that, because I cannot see the world in black and white, and I like not always having a clear answer.  It keeps me thinking.

 

The book is at our library, so I'll pick it up tomorrow.  The way I go through books, I may have a better reply by Friday.

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After reading so many posts calling this vulgar piece of garbage art, so am I.

It is beyond my comprehension how someone could judge a book she hasn't read a "vulgar piece of garbage" based on a few lines. I could respect, "I find it unpleasant and would rather not read it".

 

Not all art is beautiful.

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I am really trying to understand.

 

Is the rape the issue?

Is the incest the issue?

Is the child abuse the issue?

Is it all three things that are the issue?

Would you not allow an older teen to read any book that covers these terms in such detail?

 

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Cholly was also sexually abused himself. To see him as a pure monster is to ignore how abuse happens and is perpetuated. Do I excuse him? No. Can I see him in only one lens? No. But then again, I've read the book and not just political/anti CC blog posts about it.

 

ETA- aren't Christians called to forgive even the unforgivable? I was raised very religious. Part of my healing process from my own assaults was to learn to forgive. I was only truly free once I started to forgive my attacker. Writing someone off as only evil, only a monster is at odds with my family faith heritage. If you can't forgive a book character how do you forgive a real person?

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Censorship would be people saying that the book should be removed from the library, not simply thinking teachers should forgo assigning the novel to high school juniors.

 

I wouldn't stop my children from reading it in 11th grade but neither would I assign or encourage them to read it.

 

It is censorship if a teacher or school or curriculum puts it on the syllabus for valid educational reasons and then parental or political pressure forces them to remove it.  I don't understand how that isn't censorship.  Obviously book lists change for all kinds of reasons, most of which aren't censorship at all, but if a syllabus changed for this reason only then it would be censorship.

 

I agree with all the voices saying that parents should be able to opt for an alternative.  There is no book that's exactly the same without the graphic content, obviously.  Trying seems silly to me.  And in a way, it proves the point that this book has a unique perspective and there probably isn't another book at this level that address all these issues.  I think it's fine to substitute another book that is at a similar complex reading level and has one or two of the themes or perspectives in this book.

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I am really trying to understand.

 

Is the rape the issue?

Is the incest the issue?

Is the child abuse the issue?

Is it all three things that are the issue?

Would you not allow an older teen to read any book that covers these terms in such detail?

As many,many posters have pointed out- its the graphic description.

 

I would allow my teen to read any subject, from puppies and butterflies to incest and ritual sacrifice. However, I see NO purpose for the graphic description in this book. None.

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Words like filth, trash, and pedos wet dream are just unbelievable insulting. This is TONI MORRISON!! A great American author who writes about the black American experience. I swear, when I read some of these comments, it makes me embarrassed to tell people I homeschool.

This is going to sound rude, however I say it.

 

Who cares? Why does it matter that this book is written by Toni Morrison. Can literary greats not miss the mark. Are they infallible?

 

There are many great American authors that write about the black, white, mexican, gay, experience. They can and have done so without going into horrifyingly graphic detail.

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Censorship is also banning books within the family, something I acknowledge you are not suggesting.

I abhor the idea of censorship as well. However, even our government has determined that certain things like child p0rn should be banned. For the record, in no way am I equating the TM book with child p0rn. I agree that for a Pulitzer prize book it must have literary merit. OTOH, I do choose to "censor" the literature and other media that my ds reads and watches. Do not all parents do this?? I believe most parents do this. For example, I do not let my ds have unfettered access to the internet. There are many sorts of movies I would not let him watch as well such as horror movies filled with blood, guts, and gore. I also would not let him play computer games that feature violence or other adult situations. Does this mean I am a prudish censoring mom? IMHO, no it does not.

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Of course we protect children. But these are 11th graders not 6th graders! Two years away from leaving home and living on their own. We're talking about young adults, not children.

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This is going to sound rude, however I say it.

 

Who cares? Why does it matter that this book is written by Toni Morrison. Can literary greats not miss the mark. Are they infallible?

 

There are many great American authors that write about the black, white, mexican, gay, experience. They can and have done so without going into horrifyingly graphic detail.

 

The bolded:  Before you ask this question about Toni Morrison's book, do yourself a favor, and borrow it from the library.  I think you'll know when you are coming to that certain passage, you can skip over it.  I've skipped over paragraphs before.  But read the majority of the book.  Then, I think, you can answer the question yourself: Did Toni Morrison miss the mark?

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Satan?  Really?  No.  Get a grip. 

 

Don't read it if you don't want, but it's Nobel Prize winning literature.  It is intended to take the reader out of his/her comfort zone.  It is intended to stretch the reader to analyze. It is intended to be thought-provoking.  It does not glorify incest, or rape, or racism.  Quite the contrary.  

 

I get that some of the content may be a trigger for some readers, but the majority of adults, even young adults, should have the maturity level to be able to thoughtfully process and appreciate the work for what it is. 

 

ETA:  Ok, this actual book didn't win the Nobel Prize, so what I should have said was that this is literature by a Nobel Prize winning writer.  Still, the rest of my message remains the same. 

 

I will never be able to thoughtfully process graphic details of child rape. And I am not shallow (you did not say this-another poster did) or not as mature as any other adult. I choose to not read something that is horrifying and disgusting. 

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Exactly.

And anyone calling writing of that nature "pornography" is intellectually shallow.

 

and you are rude, but thankfully intellectually deep. 

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I will never be able to thoughtfully process graphic details of child rape. And I am not shallow (you did not say this-another poster did) or not as mature as any other adult. I choose to not read something that is horrifying and disgusting. 

 

So many books cover horrifying and disgusting things. What do you read?

 

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So many books cover horrifying and disgusting things. What do you read?

 

 

There are a lot of good books out there that don't contain stuff like this.  I guess you haven't looked around much at the library or a bookstore. 

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There are a lot of good books out there that don't contain stuff like this. I guess you haven't looked around much at the library or a bookstore.

Stuff like incest? Like in the bible?

Stuff like rape? Like in the bible?

Stuff like child abuse? Like in the bible?

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There are a lot of good books out there that don't contain stuff like this.  I guess you haven't looked around much at the library or a bookstore. 

 

*Blinks*

 

I guess not.

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There are a lot of good books out there that don't contain stuff like this.  I guess you haven't looked around much at the library or a bookstore. 

 

If I had to take an educated guess, I would say that I have most likely read more books than you have. I may not be a literary genius, but my love for reading spans many, many years. I'd say I have  400+ books in my own home library. And that is after I pared down some with my recent move.

 

I could be really rude and say that I've most likely given away more books than you've read, but why go there?

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I see Game of Thrones recommend for teens on many lists. That was one, as a SA survivor, that I almost burned. There was no point to the explicit detailing of child rape in there. None. I've heard people say that "well, people used to have sex at that age and it was fiiiine." I think we can all agree that it is a fictional universe, not historical fact, and we are all happy this is no longer the Middle Ages. That is one book I admit I would get up in arms about requiring it in class. But Blue Eyes is NOT that kind of book. The purpose and usage is to prove a point against the way society and pedophiles present child rape. We brush it under the table. I understand not wanting the details. TRUST ME here. But she's not tittlating with it. She's showing the true depravity in a way many people don't want to face. Like people who still blame the victim or defend rapists because they're "good people".

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Stuff like incest? Like in the bible?

Stuff like rape? Like in the bible?

Stuff like child abuse? Like in the bible?

Yes, Jesus himself wrote explicit details about these play by play in the Bible, but since he didn't win a Nobel Prize, it sure wasn't as beautifully written and artistic as Toni's.  :001_rolleyes:

Really- you cannot compare the Bible to the stuff in this book. 

 

I can read books about incest,rape, and child abuse. I just don't choose to read it in massive detail where it paints a picture in my head disgusting detail by disgusting detail. 

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Should I read the book or not....

 

I feel like I stand poised to break my intellectual neck by diving into the shallows of closed-minded-anti-literature-horror OR die from the bends by plunging so deep into a thoughtfully-constructed-but-hope-deprived devilish-world that I can never escape, never unsee.  

 

It does get hard to cut through the fiery emotions that get inserted into the discussion; I wish I had a $ for every exclamation point.  :)  But I do consider myself now duly educated on the general notions of the themes in the book and the descriptive language, so thank you for the input that I've just spent most of an hour plowing through.   

 

I was a teenager who read things I really shouldn't have been reading...and had no guidance.  YIkes!  I think I need to read ahead to be able to help my kids process books like this.  I don't think I can police everything these six kids choose to read as they get older.  But I do also think that I have some positive influence on them for choosing books that I find personally valuable.  But if they chose not to go after this book, I probably would not send it their way...KWIM? Well, actually, I will have to think about it.  We do make an effort to put the books of African American authors in our house.  Sooner or later, I am going to have to read Toni Morrison.  

 

There was some question about whether or not a 16 year old was as mature as an 18 year old.  Well--the hope is that the an 18 year old will be more mature than a 16 year old, right?  :)  That's what I'M HOPING as I think about this 15 year old boy of mine.  :)  

 

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If I had to take an educated guess, I would say that I have most likely read more books than you have. I may not be a literary genius, but my love for reading spans many, many years. I'd say I have  400+ books in my own home library. And that is after I pared down some with my recent move.

 

I could be really rude and say that I've most likely given away more books than you've read, but why go there?

 

Awed to be in the presence of someone such as yourself. How does one make an educated guess after reading a few posts someone puts on a forum? Oh, I guess its probably the many, many years you have lived.

 

And I totally thought once you hit the 400th book, you were in fact a literary genius. 

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