“I can’t go underground for a year, ten years, my whole life, waiting for freedom to be handed to me. Freedom is something you have to take for yourself,” says the protagonist of Little Brother. And, indeed, the novel incites us to social activism, even if it makes its point a little too clear. What eventually makes this a good (if not great) read is the fact that it keeps a sort of familiar tone the whole time. Yes, it was written for children, or “young adults,” and sometimes it shows. But, nevertheless, the main idea of the novel (summed up in the opening quote) is something any adolescent should aspire to. In today’s world, where more and more young people are obsessed with technology, and sometimes completely absorbed by it, maybe it would be nice to see some of them actually care about something else other than earning more XP in the next MMORPG.
Marcus Yallow is made out to be anyone of the novel’s teenage readers. He is one of the teenage readers. The rebellious nature of his age makes him more relatable for adolescents. Cory Doctorow wrote this novel, to give, maybe, a role model to his young readers. The idea was that this paranoiac, despotic, tyrannical state of affairs can happen anytime. The salvation is not outside ourselves, but inside. And anyone, even a young boy, can become a savior, and fight for our right to intimacy, to privacy. That is an important theme to remember even in our elderly years.
And that, maybe, is what we can take away from this flawed, but energetic, and ultimately optimistic novel.
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Doctorow, Cory – Little Brother