Sunday, September 12, 2010

What I should have realized about Little Brother from the beginning...

I am working my way through Little Brother and it has been great so far. I just don't like reading on a computer. But hey, it saves some money.

I realized about ten pages into the book that the title is significant. From what they've gone through so far, all I can think is "Big Brother". Oh how I hope we never end up in a world where we have cameras in schools measuring each person's gait. But that was a realization that made me want to slap my forehead. Of course a book named Little Brother would have some connection back to the concept of "Big Brother". Anybody else make this connection?

3 comments:

Bailey said...

I made the connection too, but I have been trying to think why Doctorow says "Little Brother" rather than "Big Brother". I am steadily making my way through the book, and it does seem to be approaching Big Brother status. But I guess Doctorow wants us to make a distinction between 1984 and this story. I would guess that this is because he is intending to make a statement that although the DHS hasn't made the world quite the 1984 world, but could maybe get there. So they are just watching like an annoying little brother...?

salsa said...

I won't spoil the surprise, but yes there is a reason the title is Little Brother. As for the gait recognition cameras, I'd think you'd run into some of the same problems as fingerprint scanners and face recognition cameras, too few points of reference and not enough processing power to get enough points of reference. The simple fact is that even though each of us has a unique print, computers are unable to process all of the nuances of the prints. The RFIDs, though, are more than possible now. For example, the security tags that Wal-Mart uses to prevent theft of expensive equipment and DVDs.

John Harris said...

I've definitely gotten the Orwellian vibe from this book. I know I haven't finished it yet (so I may be missing some final concept), but I feel like "Little Brother" represents Marcus and those like him. They're hackers, and while they don't their skills to control society in the same way as "Big Brother," they are still watching you. They don't have the heavy hand of an older sibling, but more the watchful, frustrating nature of a younger one.