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Process Paper

    I, Melissa, have always been interested in censorship since I could not understand how and why people would want to censor anything that probably would not affect or harm them if they did not make it their problem. Having learned about it in sixth grade, I decided I wanted to work on this subject. My partner, Lillian, agreed readily with me when I presented the idea to her. We began with our title, "Reactions Against Censorship in the Middle Ages." We began to research that subject and did not come up with any information. My teacher, Mrs. Gee, told us that we would find little opposition to censorship and suggested that we change our subject or at least change our title. Therefore, our title then became "Censorship: A Reaction to Free Thinking," which would be based primarily on the past.

    Last year, I worked on a project about the Qin Dynasty and learned about the book burnings and burying of the hundreds of scholars. We decided to start on this point and used this as a base structure to work our way up. I had wanted to do a PowerPoint presentation at first and we started to construct our project. Censorship was not a very big topic, we foolishly thought. After sifting through the details and main ideas, censorship turned out to be quite a complicated series of things. There were many divisions and subdivisions, enough to give the both of us a big headache. The divisions of censorship are: military, modern, moral, political, and religious. At first, we were excited to find so many new ideas and facts about censorship. We started adding our new information to the PowerPoint, but we found that we had too much and after some decision making, we switched a website. It wasn’t actually that hard building a site, yet we still had some difficulties and troubles that we had to endure.

       Censorship in the Past relate to the theme of Reaction, Reform and Revolution in an odd sort of way. Censorship was a reaction made by people who wanted to reform the way other felt about specific people and their works. It started a revolution in that time period where people thought and acted differently. For example, during the Age of Enlightenment, the philosophes wrote articles against the Church and the government. it showed that they wanted to reform the old ways. The assassinators of Julius Caesar also signifies that they felt that changing something was necessary and by creating a reaction, could start a revolution that would change history and their political problems.

    Censorship today is still in use and many people still debate over whether or not they should band or censor specific books. We feel thought our project has been successful, having helped others understand more about censorship. We learned a lot more about censorship and overall, is quite unusual, gruesome, but fascinating topic.


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