1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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Why is 1984 a banned book?

Nineteen-Eighty-Four has been banned due to its political themes and graphic content.

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Despite it importance as a dystopian classic and its prominence within popular culture to the present day, Nineteen-Eighty-Four is a commonly challenged book in school libraries mainly for its content. The book features violent acts and explicit sexual themes. Scenes such as Winston's fantasizing about raping and killing Julia, the sexual relationship between Winston and Julia outside of marriage, or the graphic tortures threatened in Room 101 (such as Winston having his face chewed off by rabid rats) are enough to get the book repeatedly challenged by concerned parents who believe the book is too mature for their children to read even within a classroom setting.

Orwell's book was officially banned in the Soviet Union for many decades due to its anti-communist views. The book was written in partial response to Joseph Stalin's totalitarian regime and its methods of suppressing the people through the invasion of privacy, propaganda, and control over freedom of expression, so naturally, the Soviet government did not want its citizens to have access to Orwell's novel. The book would remain banned in Russia until 1990, though even then, it was released in edited form. Ironically, in the United States, the book has often been challenged for being pro-communist.