Little Brother by Cory Doctorow Essay

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow Essay

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Fear is inevitably tied to the common saying “I am watching you”. When one’s actions are constantly monitored and privacy being relentlessly invaded, the individual soon will possess a sort of fear. In the novel Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, the government uses surveillance as a tool for exploiting the privacy of the people which then engages their fear.

The government has control over people in the form of surveillance which then exploits their privacy. The gait recognition system from the novel capture the privacy of individual on a visual level. This system recognizes your walking stance and corresponds your stance to one on the database. When running from the vampire games Masha said “put these pebbles in your shoes before you put them on” and Marcus responds “[I]t’s okay. I sprained my foot. No gait recognition program will spot me now” (Doctorow 314). Masha is implying that when you put pebbles in your shoes your walking stance will be different. In short, the DHS will not be able to find out where you are. Another form of surveillance the government uses consists of tracking cars and finding out where they go and where they have been. People driving with FasTrak are automatically "logged in the time and your ID number...that was augmented by speeding cameras...and all the other license plate cameras that had popped up like mushrooms...so if you drove a car, you were just as likely to be pulled over by an SFPD cruiser that wanted to know why you were taking so many trips to the Home Depot lately, and was what that midnight drive up to Sonoma last week about"(122). This surveillance monitors where you have been and whether you could be a threat based on your whereabouts. Lastly, the government also confronts surveillance...


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...oesn’t get caught like when she "stripped off her jacket and turned it inside out...then she took out some makeup remover wipes... in a minute, she was a different woman"(314). Masha is taking extreme precautions by putting a complete new makeover and putting pebbles in her shoes to throw off the gait recognition because she is scared that she will get caught by the DHS. One can see how surveillance leads to sorts of fear.

To conclude, the effects of surveillance from the government on every person leads to fear. Surveillance can be a visual recording like the gait recognition system or the digital recording of FasTrak data. These surveillances lead to frustration, extreme precautions, and getting caught by the DHS. This surveillance is an invasion of privacy which constantly lead to fear.





Works Cited

Doctorow,cory. Little brother. New York:tor,2008. Print


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