Herd mentality and how it affects our judgement

Although 1984 and Little Brother give insightful advice for standing up against the government and its securities, they leave thoughts about how extreme the settings of these novels really are.

For instance, 1984 shows the horrors of a corrupt society, but it is not possible to create a successful society without the citizens trusting the government. “Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom,” (Orwell, 64). The telescreens are a source of intimidation and fear in Winston’s society. Governments have attempted communism before, but it has always failed, and will always fail because of human greed. The question that 1984 poses to readers is this: Even with technology and strict systems, how is the society presented in 1984 realistic? How could a world become so corrupt and have so few like Winston in a miserable society willing to revolt? Little Brother is also a book with meaningful messages and is more realistic for today’s society, but still leaves the reader wondering if Marcus’s way of defying the system was just in itself. With attitudes like, “Don’t trust anyone over 25!” (Doctorow, 191) and “TAKE IT BACK! TAKE IT BACK!” (Doctorow 192) the entire city is turned on its head in full-scale riot. The government was out of control, but does this call for out of control measures to be taken? “‘…what are we doing to this country Marcus? Your generation deserves to inherit something better than this.’ When he let me go I could see the deep wrinkles in his face, lines I’d never noticed,” (Doctorow, 134). Marcus not only destroyed the system, he destroyed all trust in the system. This leads to another question: How accurate is this book about portraying security measures? If airports and public places have intense security mainly for the purpose of helping citizens feel safe and do not really protect from harm, what is the point of the sometimes extreme privacy invasions? 1984 and Little Brother do not indicate how to rise above the mob mentality. Marcus used the VampMob to stage an uprising; much like Winston once pondered how to use the proles in a similar fashion. Mob mentality was the source of their troubles from the beginning, and although there is strength in numbers, humans in a group are unpredictable. A variable gathering like the VampMob could have turned into a full-scale riot. Although 1984 and Little Brother outline the consequences of mob mentalities and how to resist the government and reinstitute what is right, they may inflate the actual possibilities of these scenarios happening in real life because human nature will not give up without a fight.