The Greater Evil by Margaret Laurence


Laurence is unsettled and battles with her two opposing opinions. From a novelist's perspective she sees critics as ignorant having undermined her novel. Her initial opinion is that censorship is bad for society. Artists like her have been oppressed, and slain for depicting life from their own perspectives as a result of censorship. Laurence believes Pornography that abuses women and children is unacceptable, and thinks this material should be censored. She looks to Milton’s Areopagitica as a support for anti censorship. She questions humanity and notes ironies of feminists standing with right-wingers. Laurence recognizes the unaccountability of censorship boards having ambiguous, poorly defined standards. She expresses the importance of identifying real abuses and replacing unnecessary boasting with a more informed dialogue and proper plan of action. She looks to J.S Mills writing ‘Freedom should be kept alive by use’ in agreement. Laurence understands Laws require modernization and clarification as the world changes and believes Abuses in pornography and in general should be handled as separate issues in law. Bottom line damaging people is wrong and there’s only so far the law can go. Citizens should take responsibility and be more informed and on top of these laws. Educate children Importance of love, respect and responsibility.

Response

It makes sense that Laurence, an oppressed self proclaimed woman, mother, writer, would be biased towards ideas and pleasures she might not understand by possible lack of experience or sheltered upbringing. The stipulated definition of pornography is inappropriate for this writing by grouping different topics that don't belong together. When referencing possible accusations of being elitist and prejudiced towards her own writing she agrees to the possibility and reiterates her uncertainty by writing “I just don’t know” (p2,7). Pornography including sadism, masochism between consenting adults should not fall under the same category as child pornography or abuse. I agree that sex should only be had by consenting adults and real abuses of any human should be forbidden by law. I believe censorship to be the greater evil because there is only so much censorship boards and law can do. We must be more aware of these topics by educating ourselves and children about them, instead of censoring ourselves which would result in higher levels of ignorance in people.

 

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