When and where has William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies been banned or challenged?

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vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An article on William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies in The Encyclopedia of Censorship (edited by Jonathon Green and Nicholas J. Karolides) suggests that although Golding’s novel may have been censored or banned in some places almost immediately, recorded objections occurred

in the 1960s and continued to the year 2000 but at a diminished frequency after the 1980s. It was identified as among the most criticized novels in 1967 in a National Education Association survey. It ranked sixth on Lee Burress’s so-called Dirty Thirty list based on surveys conducted between 1965 and 1982. In the American Library Associations’s “The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1900-2000,” Lord of the Flies ranked 70th.

The novel has been attacked as anti-family, depressing, demoralizing, pessimistic, and degrading to humans (among various other charges, including racism).

A report from the American Library Association (see link below) lists a number of specific challenges to the book:

Challenged at the Dallas, TX Independent School District high school libraries (1974). Challenged at the Sully Buttes, SD High School (1981). Challenged at the Owen, NC High School (1981) because the book is "demoralizing inasmuch as it implies that man is little more than an animal." Challenged at the Marana, AZ High School (1983) as an inappropriate reading assignment. Challenged at the Olney, TX Independent School District (1984) because of "excessive violence and bad language." A committee of the Toronto, Canada Board of Education ruled on June 23, 1988, that the novel is "racist and recommended that it be removed from all schools." Parents and members of the black community complained about a reference to "niggers" in the book and said it denigrates blacks. Challenged in the Waterloo, IA schools (1992) because of profanity, lurid passages about sex, and statements defamatory to minorities, God, women and the disabled. Challenged, but retained on the ninth-grade accelerated English reading list in Bloomfield, NY (2000).


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Lord of the Flies

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