The Bill of Rights continues to stand to defend our individual rights within the United States. In Doctrow’s “Little Brother” these individual liberties are compromised when a bombing attack occurs in the town. As security in the town of the novel saw a severe increase, privacy rights were jeopardized as a result. In Marcus’s history class, there was a contentious debate regarding the suspension of the Bill of Rights at times when safety is more important. Marcus believed that these individual liberties should never be compromised while his new teacher and enemy in the class, Charles, believed that security should always be the priority. They further went on to argue regarding the origin and purpose of the Bill of Rights. While Marcus believed its purpose was to keep the government in check, the teacher and Charles believed it was an outdated form used to oust the Kings at the time when it was created. As a result of Marcus’s argument, he gets sent into the principle’s office where he is reprimanded for exercising his first amendment in class.

While I have always been an advocate for free speech, my view on privacy rights changed throughout reading the novel. Prior to reading this novel, I agreed that it is necessary to compromise certain liberties in order to ensure our safety. However, learning about all the ways our privacy has been compromised without our knowledge, and the ease in which more of our rights can be infringed upon has caused me to have a deeper appreciation for the Bill of Rights. In specific regard to the Fourth Amendment, while our safety is essential, more government security measures can only ensure our safety to an extent. Furthermore, I found myself siding with Marcus in that America is a place for freedom, and although our safety is vital, once we let the government infringe on our rights there is no assured stopping point. Even if measures do get out of control, the Bill of Rights encourages us to challenge the government to ensure our democracy is kept in check. The Bill of Rights was written to defend us so why work against it?