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| | |-+  Do public schools teach subversive literature to subvert its message?
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Author Topic: Do public schools teach subversive literature to subvert its message?  (Read 457 times)
dead0man
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« on: September 28, 2011, 06:11:21 am »
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On another message board I lurk at this topic came up, I'll just quote the good part.
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To believe the Marxist literary theorists, the reason the establishment teaches books by Salinger (and Orwell, and Lee, and other anti-establishment authors) is to co-opt them and undermine their subversive content. I doubt teachers think of it that way, but getting handed a book in school definitely affects the way students read it. And the way teachers teach it also probably undermines the effectiveness of the book.
Any truth to it?  Well, obviously the last coupe of lines are true(ish), but they could be true whether the theory is fact or not.  I don't think it's true because it's almost too clever.  People that want to censor things don't tend to be that clever.
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2011, 06:45:59 am »
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Which Marxist literary theorists?
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2011, 08:12:20 am »
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Any truth to it?  Well, obviously the last coupe of lines are true(ish), but they could be true whether the theory is fact or not.  I don't think it's true because it's almost too clever.  People that want to censor things don't tend to be that clever.

it doesn't have to be sketchy people in a board room plotting this out (though it may well be); capitalism has instincts of its own that lead to this sort of thing.
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there's no ghosts in the graveyard, that's not where they live
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dead0man
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2011, 09:00:29 am »
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Are you seriously suggesting capitalism can "lead to this sort of thing"?  I guess it depends on what "this sort of thing" means, but if it means "some subversive books being less subversive because they are taught in public schools" then you might be nuts.  Not as nuts as saying capitalism is to blame for us having so few choices of entertainment, that's a whole 'nother category of crazy.
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tweed
Miamiu1027
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2011, 10:13:57 am »
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I don't know that there's a significant difference between those two.  the point would be that people like Orwell (I'll exempt the other two because I don't think they can be called subversive at this stage - as regards Lee, ruling ideology has long claimed the Civil Rights movement as its own victory.  note the massive corporate sponsorship of the DC MLK memorial last month, as just one example out of the countless)... people like Orwell are not going to be taught in a way that in any way exaggerates their incendiary quality, at least on a mass level such as grade school.  this isn't claiming an absolute so much as a regurgitation of the ancient and well-proven theory that attitudes and practices are, on balance, going to mirror existing power relationships.  this does not imply nor require a consciousness of this on the part of people who propagate the stuff at its lowest level, such as the classroom.
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2011, 10:47:54 am »
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Ive literally only logged on to this forum just now solely to laugh at the idea of Lee being considered a subversive author. (Insert much laughter here).
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2011, 11:37:14 am »
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I seem to remember the edition of Lord of the Flies that I had to read for school including a small foreword (or a backcover note? Whatever) by William Golding himself making this exact point about the book now being taught in school.
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