Woke website listings trigger warnings for thousands of novels

It opens up a whole new chapter on what it means to be awake.

A Wikipedia-style website has published trigger warnings for thousands of the world’s most iconic novels, ranging from the works of Charles Dickens to Harper Lee and even JRR Tolkien.

The site, aptly named BookTriggerWarnings.com, flags classic literature content like fatphobia, age gap novels, discrimination against gypsies and even diarrhea as some of the red flags for readers.

However, the minds behind the site are quick to admit that the team of peer-based trigger spotters are completely unqualified.

“We are not medical/psychological professionals and do not claim our pages to be complete or accurate,” a message on the homepage reads, also warning “the mere fact that a book ‘seems safe’ for you on our site does not guarantee that it is.”

Classic titles like “To Kill a Mockingbird” are now flagged with inline trigger warnings.

There were a total of 6,701 pounds to have trigger warnings on the site, the Daily Mail reported.

They range from high school required reading such as Mark Twain’s Reconstruction-era book “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” which was listed for “parental neglect,” as well as themes of racism and slavery, to a long list of seemingly inappropriate topics in JD Salinger. New York coming-of-age tale “The Catcher in the Rye”.

This novel is marked by ableism (discrimination against an invalid person), vomiting, diarrhea and violent fantasies, in addition to other heavier subjects such as suicide, sexual harassment, racism, homophobia and “implicit” pedophilia.

References to obscene wealth are now triggers for "Gatsby the magnificent."
References to obscene wealth are now triggers in “The Great Gatsby.”
Oli Scarf

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” – a glamorous portrayal of elite Long Island’s Gold Coast in the 1920s – entered the site to contain themes of wealth hoarding, discrimination class, misogynistic violence and – spoiler alert – character deaths.

Harper Lee’s iconic “To Kill a Mockingbird,” depicting the Jim Crow-era South, was also cited for murder, citing “rape”, use of the “N-word” and racism. A school district near Seattle also removed it from its curriculum earlier this year.

Classic readings from Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” mystery series have also been found to contain triggers related to the persecution of Mormons, the use of poison, ableism again, and the often central theme of the novels: the murder.

Same "sherlock holmes" turned out to be a series of trigger books.
Even “Sherlock Holmes” turned out to be a trigger book series.

Jane Austen’s classic British romance “Emma” is apparently problematic for referencing typical age-gap romances of the period and anti-Gypsy sentiment, while Helen Fielding’s “Bridget Jones” series is seen as triggers to include cheating with body image issues, obsession with weight, and calorie counting.

Mythical adventures such as JK Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ books have been put on the muggle website for containing elements of grossophobia, child abuse, invasion of privacy, ‘eliminationist language’ and more. spiders (OK, I can agree with this one), snakes and broken bones.

Harry Potter has been reported by multiple entities to now have content warnings.
Harry Potter has been reported by multiple entities to now have content warnings.
Getty Images

The University of Chester in England also implemented content warnings on “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” in January.

Dickens’ ‘Oliver Twist’, the story of an orphan’s plight in poverty in old England, is also accused of anti-Semitism, ‘traumatic childbirth’, inhumane treatment, vulgar swearing and bullying.

Meanwhile, Victor Hugo’s French Revolution novel-turned-musical ‘Les Miserables’ has been put on the site for references to prostitution, disease and gun violence.

It has also proven true that men’s hearts are weak in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” series, as fascism, sexism, and slavery have all been noted among its pages by the site.

About William G. Patrick

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