Archive for the ‘Taboo Fact or Fiction?’ Category

Fact or Fiction: All the below books were once banned?

  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)
  2. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
  3. The Canterbury Tales (Geoffrey Chaucer)
  4. Slaughterhouse Five (William Kurt Vonnegut)
  5. Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
  6. A Wring in Time (Madeleine L’Engle)
  7. 1984 (George Orwell)
  8. Gulliver’s Travels (Jonathan Swift)
  9. Candide (Voltaire)
  10. OF Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)
  11. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  12. The Harry Potter Series (J.K. Rowling)
  13. The Ginger Man (J.P. Donleavy)

Fact: Over the history of literature many books have been banned for sexual, racial, political, or religious reasons. The above books have all been banned for some (if not all) of these reasons.

Breakdown: Interestingly, all the above banned books are now considered classics. A banning on literature such as this should give writers the confidence to write what they artistically feel is necessary. Censorship will occur, but censorship cannot fully destroy or stop popularity or literary acclaim. In fact, in some instances, censorship probably helps gain recognition for a book or artist. Perhaps this is why many writers take on taboo subjects in their stories: taboo literature has been well received by history. The lesson here: write without chains!

Extras: For more banned books look at the American Library Association’s list of “Banned and Challenged Classics” here.

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Fact or Fiction: The breakfast cereal Cornflakes was initially invented to help stop the human race from masturbating?

Fact: In the late 19 century, John Harvey Kellogg invented cornflakes in part to curb people (mostly men) from masturbating. At the time it was widely believed that masturbation led to insanity and in order to help contain sexual desire a bland diet was recommended. Thus, Cornflakes became the perfect prescription. In addition, Kellogg was a proponent of both male and female circumcision.[1]

Breakdown: How many of us realize this when we pick up a box of Cornflakes from our local supermarket? Perhaps this once again shows how the truth, in many ways, is taboo. If this happened today you would probably see the boycotting and discontinuation of the cereal.


[1] The History Channel, How Sex Changed the World: Sexpocalypse, 2013.

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Fact or Fiction: The breakfast cereal Cornflakes were initially invented to help stop the human race from masturbating?