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Quiz about The Top Shelf Collection
Quiz about The Top Shelf Collection

The Top Shelf Collection Trivia Quiz


Please join me in my censoring crusade, as I attempt to retell some of the great literary classics in ways that couldn't possibly offend anyone. I give you a summary of a censored classic, you name the book. Spoilers included!

A multiple-choice quiz by adams627. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
adams627
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
333,818
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
1574
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: PurpleComet (7/10), woodstockwanda (10/10), Guest 8 (4/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Bernard and Lenina aren't really better than everybody else, just different. They live happily together under a government that tries to keep everyone as happy as possible. Lenina loves a type of candy called soma, which makes her feel happy. Bernard just is comforted to be in the presence of the woman he loves.

See, it wasn't that hard to change Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel into a perfect utopia! What book, a dark criticism of social trends, is censored above?
Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Which ancient work of literature could be censored to have a plot resembling the following?

Even though a group of women are unhappy that their husbands are fighting in a war, they realize that such a war is patriotic and necessary for their wellbeing. They dedicate themselves to working harder for their city-state and help their husbands in any way possible.
Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. One of the most fascinating censorship crusades of the twentieth century could have been avoided if the author had just planned his novel more carefully, like this:

After surviving a plane crash, Farishta and Chamcha become great friends. They become prominent Indian actors in the London community and never even think about Islam in the slightest. Farishta doesn't have any weird dreams about Muhammad. Really.

If rewritten in the form above, which "devilish" book would not have been responsible for the death of translator Hitoshi Igarashi and for a world-famous fatwa?
Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Which 20th century American novel could be summarized by the now-censored quote below?

"If you really want to hear about it ... I hate phonies. They kill me." (That's all that remains of the book, after all of the swear words were deleted)
Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Frustrated by a husband made impotent by war, the protagonist of this novel feels ennui in her stifling life. However, she recognizes that the sacred law of marriage prevents her from an affair with the gamekeeper Oliver Mellors. By the end of the novel, she has recovered her faith and overcome temptation.

If that had actually been the novel that was published in 1928, there wouldn't have been so much controversy, including a highly publicized obscenity trial in 1960. Which classic is it?
Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. The protagonist of this novel is fairly satisfied with his life, even though it's really cold. He understands that he has broken the law and can come to terms with his punishment. There is no discontent. He got what he deserved.

Political interests dictated the publication of the 1962 novel that was censored before its release in Soviet Russia. Those interests also resulted in the deportation of author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Which book was it?
Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Guy Montag doesn't really know what to do: if he censors books, then that's an indirect protest against the government, and his book gets banned. If he refuses to censor books, then it's a direct protest against the government, and his book gets banned. Trapped in a Catch-22, he decides to quit his night job and become a productive member of the work force, by purchasing a big screen television.

Perhaps one of the most ironic censorships of all time, which science fiction classic could be altered to that form?
Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. A European man, with an eccentric fondness for Edgar Allan Poe, moves to the United States and becomes a boarder with the Haze family. When Mrs. Haze tragically dies, the protagonist adopts her daughter as his own, and they travel around the States in the image of a perfect family.

Something is missing from the summary above; I'm not quite sure what. What novel could be simplified as a tragic love affair that ends in the arrest of Mr. Humbert Humbert?
Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Which massive classic novel of the twentieth century needed some serious censorship before it could appear in the more child-friendly form below?

Leopold Bloom walks around the city on June 16, 1904, trying to find medicine for his wife Molly, who is sick at home. He meets some interesting people during the day, and he doesn't return home until very late. Thankfully, a family friend named Blazes Boylan had been around to cheer Molly up.
Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. "I never see such an African-American person. If he got a notion in his head once, there warn't no getting it out again. He was the most down-on Solomon of an African-American person I ever see."

Hopefully, new reprints of the classic book will look more aesthetically-pleasing than that. Either way, which 1884 novel gained controversy when a 2011 edition eliminated certain offensive words from the text?
Hint



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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Bernard and Lenina aren't really better than everybody else, just different. They live happily together under a government that tries to keep everyone as happy as possible. Lenina loves a type of candy called soma, which makes her feel happy. Bernard just is comforted to be in the presence of the woman he loves. See, it wasn't that hard to change Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel into a perfect utopia! What book, a dark criticism of social trends, is censored above?

Answer: Brave New World

Aldous Huxley's most famous novel is set in a dystopian future, in the year of 632 After Ford (in the novel, Henry Ford is seen as a god for his improvements to mass production). Society has been dramatically altered. Genetic engineers starve babies after artificial conception to create intellectual and physical differences that lead to an unbreakable caste system. Bernard Marx and Lenina Crowne are at the highest rank of society in a world where happiness is the greatest possible achievement. To stay happy, residents of the World State utilize a drug called soma, which has no ill effects, or attend "group meetings" filled with passion (see, I'm censoring here too!).

Unsurprisingly, Huxley's novel has been banned through the years. In 1932, it was attacked for slandering religions and families (although such attacks are clearly made in parody). Other consumers have been concerned about the book's frank (albeit negative) depictions of drugs and sex.
2. Which ancient work of literature could be censored to have a plot resembling the following? Even though a group of women are unhappy that their husbands are fighting in a war, they realize that such a war is patriotic and necessary for their wellbeing. They dedicate themselves to working harder for their city-state and help their husbands in any way possible.

Answer: Lysistrata

Censorship isn't a new idea; for example, the acclaimed poet Ovid was exiled from Rome after the publication of some of his most famous works. Aristophanes' "Lysistrata" has been controversial since the Greek comedian premiered the play in 411 BCE. Just like Aristophanes' other masterpieces, "Lysistrata" is built upon a comic premise. Athenian women, angered that their men are fighting in a meaningless war (the Peloponnesian War), decide to withhold sex from their husbands until the fighting comes to an end. Eventually, after some comical interludes and treachery, Lysistrata's plan works.

Although Aristophanes' play probably wasn't intended to be either feminist or pacifist, it was censored in the United States for decades under the Comstock Law of 1873. The play was apparently "lewd." In 1967, the nation of Greece banned the ancient work, because a ruling military government was offended by its pacifist themes.
3. One of the most fascinating censorship crusades of the twentieth century could have been avoided if the author had just planned his novel more carefully, like this: After surviving a plane crash, Farishta and Chamcha become great friends. They become prominent Indian actors in the London community and never even think about Islam in the slightest. Farishta doesn't have any weird dreams about Muhammad. Really. If rewritten in the form above, which "devilish" book would not have been responsible for the death of translator Hitoshi Igarashi and for a world-famous fatwa?

Answer: The Satanic Verses

Perhaps one of modern history's most fascinating censorships is the curious case of Salman Rushdie's acclaimed 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses". British literary critics praised the novel for examining such topics as identity in a foreign society. However, many Muslims around the world took offense to Rushdie's work.

The plot of "The Satanic Verses" doesn't really include any objectionable material. After the plane crash, Farishta magically transforms into the angel Gibreel, while Chamcha becomes a devil. Chamcha is led away to prison, while Farishta goes free, alienating the two friends. Chamcha tries to get revenge on Farishta by provoking feelings of envy, which ultimately leads Farishta to commit suicide.

Throughout the book, Farishta has strange dreams that reflect his broken identity. In the most controversial sequences, Rushdie describes an ancient Muslim story, that Muhammad withdrew some verses from the Koran for fear that they were tainted by the Devil. Unfortunately, these verses, which are called "bird verses" in the Muslim tradition, were corrupted to "satanic verses" in the novel, in a linguistic way that suggested the entire Koran was satanic. Other parts of the novel parody incidents in Muhammad's life. The Muslim world was outraged by the novel. In 1989, the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa against Rushdie, calling for all Muslims to try and kill the book's author and publishers.
4. Which 20th century American novel could be summarized by the now-censored quote below? "If you really want to hear about it ... I hate phonies. They kill me." (That's all that remains of the book, after all of the swear words were deleted)

Answer: The Catcher in the Rye

Although it includes some scenes with sexual implications, JD Salinger's coming-of-age novel "The Catcher in the Rye" is probably most objectionable for its language. The protagonist Holden Caulfield spends the novel walking around New York City, cursing constantly and calling adults "phonies." Holden is afraid of growing up and falling into a world concerned with false pretenses or materialism; instead, he wants to be a "catcher in the rye," who prevents children from taking that dramatic fall from innocence. The novel's titular image is taken from a Robert Burns poem "Comin' Through the Rye."

Between 1961 and 1982, "The Catcher in the Rye" was the most frequently banned book in United States public schools - and the second-most-frequently taught! Interestingly, one of the most controversial scenes involves a certain word scribbled on the wall inside the Museum of Natural History. Holden himself tries to censor the word, wondering why someone would deface the museum with such language.
5. Frustrated by a husband made impotent by war, the protagonist of this novel feels ennui in her stifling life. However, she recognizes that the sacred law of marriage prevents her from an affair with the gamekeeper Oliver Mellors. By the end of the novel, she has recovered her faith and overcome temptation. If that had actually been the novel that was published in 1928, there wouldn't have been so much controversy, including a highly publicized obscenity trial in 1960. Which classic is it?

Answer: Lady Chatterley's Lover

By the 1928 release of "Lady Chatterley's Lover," DH Lawrence had already gained notoriety in the English press for works like "The Rainbow" and "Sons and Lovers." His antepenultimate novel, "Lady Chatterley's Lover" was actually released in Florence because it was banned in the UK. The novel tells the story of Constance Chatterley, a bourgeois lady married to Clifford Chatterley, a successful writer. However, Clifford was injured during World War I and rendered impotent, so Connie desires more freedom. She carries on an affair with Oliver Mellors, a low-class but highly intelligent gamekeeper at the estate.

The novel was controversial for seeming to endorse adultery, as well as a plethora of sexual profanity. In 1959, the British Parliament passed the Obscene Publications Act, which permitted obscenity for the public good, or if the work in question had literary merit. In response, Penguin Books began to publish Lawrence's novel. During a celebrated obscenity trial, which saw testimony from several renowned authors, Penguin Books was declared not guilty. "Lady Chatterley's Lover" was finally printed in the United Kingdom, thirty-two years after its original publication.
6. The protagonist of this novel is fairly satisfied with his life, even though it's really cold. He understands that he has broken the law and can come to terms with his punishment. There is no discontent. He got what he deserved. Political interests dictated the publication of the 1962 novel that was censored before its release in Soviet Russia. Those interests also resulted in the deportation of author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Which book was it?

Answer: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

By 1962, the leader of Soviet Russia was no longer Josef Stalin, but Nikita Khrushchev. One of Khrushchev's policies in office was a program of "Destalinization", to remove the most oppressive policies of the earlier regime. Heartened, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, an author who had been imprisoned for eight years during the Stalin years, published a series of books criticizing Siberian labor camps and Stalin himself. His novel "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" was slightly censored by the Khrushchev government before its release. It depicts the horrible life experienced by the titular inmate at a Siberian prison camp. Ivan serves a freezing ten-year sentence, even though he did nothing wrong.

After Khrushchev left office, the period of freer speech came to an end. Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the Union of Writers, his work was seized by the KGB, and he was forced to work on his crowning work, "The Gulag Archipelago", in secret. In 1970 he won the Nobel Prize in Literature, but could not accept the prize for fear that Soviet authorities wouldn't allow him back into the country. It didn't really matter, because by 1974, Solzhenitsyn was deported. He wasn't allowed back into Russia until 1990.
7. Guy Montag doesn't really know what to do: if he censors books, then that's an indirect protest against the government, and his book gets banned. If he refuses to censor books, then it's a direct protest against the government, and his book gets banned. Trapped in a Catch-22, he decides to quit his night job and become a productive member of the work force, by purchasing a big screen television. Perhaps one of the most ironic censorships of all time, which science fiction classic could be altered to that form?

Answer: Fahrenheit 451

In 1967, Ray Bradbury's novel "Fahrenheit 451" was censored. Publishers removed several semi-offensive words (though hardly words unfamiliar to high school students) and changed 75 passages in the novel.

Ray Bradbury, understandably, was furious with the publishers, because the novel itself is a passionate indictment of censorship. The protagonist Guy Montag is a fireman. However, in a dystopian future, his job isn't to put out fires; he burns books! "Fahrenheit 451" is the temperature at which paper burns. Montag grows weary with his profession, especially after it leads to the death of several innocent bibliophiles. He decides to read the forbidden books, with the help of a retired professor, Faber. Naturally, the firemen find out, but Montag manages to survive arrest, before a huge firebomb essentially destroys the old city at the end of the novel. Bradbury ends his novel on an upbeat note, however, with images of a phoenix being reborn from its ashes.
8. A European man, with an eccentric fondness for Edgar Allan Poe, moves to the United States and becomes a boarder with the Haze family. When Mrs. Haze tragically dies, the protagonist adopts her daughter as his own, and they travel around the States in the image of a perfect family. Something is missing from the summary above; I'm not quite sure what. What novel could be simplified as a tragic love affair that ends in the arrest of Mr. Humbert Humbert?

Answer: Lolita

Censoring Vladimir Nabokov's novel "Lolita" is hard, because the narrator Humbert Humbert spends most of the novel lusting after young girls, which he calls "nymphets". Most particularly, the European Humbert falls in love with Dolores Haze when he travels to the United States as a boarder with the Haze family. He ends up marrying Lolita's mother, Charlotte, in an attempt to get closer to Lolita. His wife finds out, but an unforeseen car accident takes her life before she can alert the authorities. Humbert spends most of the rest of the novel traveling around the country with his stepdaughter, until she runs away from him with a playwright named Clare Quilty. At the end of the novel, Humbert shoots Quilty and surrenders to the police; the novel "Lolita" makes up his prison "memoirs."

Understandably, "Lolita" gained controversy, even though it's neither pornographic nor supportive of Humbert. Nabokov was unable to find a publisher in the United States and eventually resorted to one in Paris. There wasn't any controversy until Graham Greene announced the book to the British press; soon after, Customs officials in Britain and France began seizing the novel. On the other hand, once Nabokov finally found a publisher in the US, the book was an instant hit with very little controversy.
9. Which massive classic novel of the twentieth century needed some serious censorship before it could appear in the more child-friendly form below? Leopold Bloom walks around the city on June 16, 1904, trying to find medicine for his wife Molly, who is sick at home. He meets some interesting people during the day, and he doesn't return home until very late. Thankfully, a family friend named Blazes Boylan had been around to cheer Molly up.

Answer: Ulysses

James Joyce's huge novel "Ulysses" earned first place on Modern Library's top 100 novels of the 20th century. Joyce essentially defined the Modernist literary movement with the book's convoluted allegory based on Homer's "Odyssey", as well as perfect execution of the stream-of-consciousness style. The novel follows two characters, Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, as they walk around Dublin on June 16 (today, a "holiday" immortalized as Bloomsday). Each episode in the book is tied in symbolically to one portion of the "Odyssey." Bloom represents the hero Odysseus, while Dedalus is his son Telemachus, and Bloom's wife Molly is seen as Penelope.

Joyce focuses frequently on the coarse processes of the human mind during the novel. In particular, the Nausicaa episode was attacked for obscenity, and the book was banned from the United States. The Random House publishing company arranged for copies of the book to be brought into the country so that it could fight the prohibition (ironically, the copies weren't seized, and Random House had to convince the customs officials to do their jobs). In the 1933 US District Court Case United States v. One Book called Ulysses, John Woolsey reached the conclusion that obscenity could be permitted in serious works of literature. In Britain, Parliament would come to the same conclusion 26 years later with "Lady Chatterley's Lover."
10. "I never see such an African-American person. If he got a notion in his head once, there warn't no getting it out again. He was the most down-on Solomon of an African-American person I ever see." Hopefully, new reprints of the classic book will look more aesthetically-pleasing than that. Either way, which 1884 novel gained controversy when a 2011 edition eliminated certain offensive words from the text?

Answer: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" has been attacked mercilessly since its publication in Britain in 1884. Famed authors like Louisa May Alcott claimed that Twain was endorsing racial stereotypes in his novel, by using offensive language to refer to slaves. The debate continued for decades. In 2011, NewSouth Books actually replaced two offensive words in the text with equivalents like "slave." Other school systems in the 2000s called for the removal of the classic novel from American reading lists, saying that more modern and less racially offensive novels would be more acceptable.

The deep irony, of course, is that Twain was anything but a racist, and "Huck Finn" is remarkably progressive for its time. Twain's use of such language was intended as satire, to illustrate how such words can shape an individual's opinions about a culture. Through the novel, Huckleberry Finn matures from a racist teenager into a tolerant man, as he and an escaped slave named Jim raft down the Mississippi River together. Huck learns to respect Jim when he realizes that race is of little importance when you're being chased by hunters or Tom Sawyer's crazy aunts.
Source: Author adams627

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
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