Fahrenheit 451 BY Bradbury, Ray

Per ALA’s Banned Books Resource Guide:

* Expurgated at the Venado Middle School in Irvine, CA in 1992. Students received copies of the book with scores of words – mostly “hells” and “damns” – blacked out. After receiving complaints from parents and being contacted by reporters, school officials said the censored copies would no longer be used.

* Challenged in 2006 at the Conroe, Tex., Independent School District because of the following: “discussion of being drunk, smoking cigarettes, violence, ‘dirty talk,’ references to the Bible, and using God’s name in vain.” The novel went against the complainants’ “religious beliefs.”

How ironic, too, that Bradbury's own indictment of censorship has itself been repeatedly censored. Fourteen years after Fahrenheit 451's initial release, some educators succeeded in persuading its publisher to release a special edition. This edition modified more than seventy-five passages to eliminate mild curse words, and to "clean up" two incidents in the book. (A minor character, for example, was changed from "drunk" to "sick.") When Bradbury learned of the changes, he demanded that the publishers withdraw the censored version, and they complied. Since 1980, only Bradbury's original text has been available. As a result, some schools have banned the book from course lists. For all these attempts to sanitize or banish it completely, Bradbury remained diligent in his defense of his masterpiece, writing in a coda that appears in some editions of the book:

"Do not insult me with the beheadings, finger-choppings or the lung-deflations you plan for my works. I need my head to shake or nod, my hand to wave or make into a fist, my lungs to shout or whisper with. I will not go gently onto a shelf, degutted, to become a non-book."