One passage that stood out to me while reading Little Brother was on pages 90 and 91. Here, Marcus speaks with the owner of a Turkish coffee shop. As Marcus tries to pay for his coffee with a debt card, the owner explains to him that he no longer takes debt cards. He explains that this is now just another way for the government to keep track of where each citizen is. Because of this, he will now only accept cash. The owner also tells Marcus that this very thing- the government keeping such close tabs on its citizens- is why he left Turkey and came to America.
I think why this passage stood out to me so much is because of the owner’s motivation to come to America. We’re supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, yet we have to question if as American citizens we truly are free, and in this case, free from our own government. Obviously Doctorow takes these questions to a new level in his novel Little Brother with the heightened invasions of citizens’ privacy, but he bases this future off of what is currently present in society.
Besides questioning Americans’ freedom, this passage stood out to me because it was inspiring to see the owner decide to put the sanctity of his patrons’ securities in his own hands. He made the decision to not accept debt cards anymore because he is trying to protect his customers, even if that means losing some customers due to the inconvenience. I thought this was extremely admirable and inspiring, considering he is trying to protect the very thing that drew him to America from Turkey.