Morbid Literature

"For to read on needlessly is to risk contamination by a bad purpose of the second kind. The literature forced on high school students (who have long known how to read) inundates them with vulgarity and vice against which their meager adolescent minds can hardly stand. When confronted with the evils so pervasive in fiction, their inevitable response is to accept these values as true and then imitate them. The exposition of these horrors on the psyches of our young people can have no other effect but that of a viral contraction. Has not literature, when injected into our classrooms, proved thus far endemic? The alarming rise of street-urchin pickpockets has been directly attributed to young readers of "Oliver Twist" (by Charles Dickens) at Parkview High. The recent development of teenagers disobeying their parents, engaging in illicit rendezvous with forbidden lovers, faking their deaths, engaging in underage drinking of poison from each other's mouths, using "happy daggers" (and other illegal substances) and, in extreme cases, committing double suicide is certainly the outcome of entire freshman classes reading that burlesque propaganda of Shakespeare. English class, however, is not the only affront to decency in school today." Bradley Fisher


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