and it becomes blatantly obvious that Americans live a lie. (Photograph. The Dictionary)

Although today's society is not that of 1984, where everyone blindly accepts what the government dishes out, it is taken for granted that trust is secure in the media. The land of today is the land of internet, the land of Google, Yahoo, and Ask.com; of 15 different news channels, of any information available to anyone with one single click, and everyone trusts that it is all true. The problem with this is that when one asks for the endless information of the internet, one also gets the endless lies and useless content that comes with it. America needs to be skeptical of who it trusts and at this moment in time, the one Americans seem to trust above all else is the media. In 1984, the people trust their government above all else, shown through this:

This section of 1984 demonstrates an alarmingly clear picture of absolute trust in government; where the people have and get so wrapped up in that they forget to think.
(Youtube - 1984 The Movie)

Now compare this to the way people trust the media today, demonstrated by this part of Little Brother in which the media sways Marcus's point of view extremely successfully:

No one was telling our side.'" (Doctorow) These articles are a response to a concert that was organized by the secret internet. They show how the media can warp police brutality to spin the story towards the government, proving that they cannot be trusted.


Those were the *good* headlines. Everyone sent me the articles to blog, but it was the last thing I wanted to do. I'd blown it, somehow. The press had come to my press-conference and concluded that we were terrorists or terrorist dupes. The worst was the reporter on Fox News, who had apparently shown up anyway, and who devoted a ten-minute commentary to us, talking about our 'criminal treason.' Her killer line, repeated on every news-outlet I found, was: 'They say they don't have a name. I've got one for them. Let's call these spoiled children Cal-Qaeda. They do the terrorists' work on the home front. When -- not if, but when -- California gets attacked again, these brats will be as much to blame as the House of Saud'" (Doctorow, 240-241). This demonstrates some of the same concepts as those portrayed by the media response to the concert. When Marcus sponsor's a press conference on the X-net (underground internet), the reporters shift the story to make it from the point of view of the government. This also shows the people's response to the media's lies. Most people took them quite similarly to the father, blindly assuming their truth. The people in this novel are very much like the people of today, if not less extreme in their trust of the media.

(The mind)

Another aspect of being skeptical of trust that Americans have fallen very short in is understanding the limits of the human mind and respecting those limits. Human’s cannot be skeptical of who they trust if they cannot learn to control themselves and that means not putting themselves within shouting distance of the limits of their mind. In 1984, the disregard for these limits is shown through this section in which Winston and his lover, Julia are talking about the one thing that they believe the government is not able to manipulate inside of them: “’It’s the one thing they can’t do. They can make you say anything - anything – but they can’t make you believe it. They can’t get inside you'" (Orwell, 167). Winston and Julia believe that their minds are safe, that no one can deal damage to them or control them in any way that is not physical or measurable, believing that those are their limits. This is and was the human mindset, but unfortunately it is not true. This is shown through a later section of 1984 in which Winston is taken to room 101 and through torture and the threat of his worst fear: rats, the government is able to make him completely and utterly betray Julia from the inside out. He is reduced to begging them to inflict his torture upon Julia so long as he goes free (Orwell). This shows that thoughts and feelings, things that are not measurable of physical can still be controlled, that every aspect of you is limited because it can be controlled, even though so few believe it to be true. Little Brother proves that this holds true today as well, from this segment where Marcus has been placed in the DHS’s secret island prison, and treated very poorly because of his failure to cooperate: “As I walked back to my cell, that felling of deserving it came back to me. I’d broken a lot of rules all my life and I’d gotten away with it, by and large. Maybe this was justice. Maybe this was my past coming back to me. After all, I had been where I was because I’d snuck out of school.” (Doctorow, 57) It took very little to make Marcus feel as if he was deserving of his punishment. This proves how easily the government is able to get inside one’s head and toy with it. The truth is that Americans are severely like the characters in these books: unaware of how easily they are manipulated. This makes it so easy for people to take advantage of their trust because they are willing to provide it skepticism free, unaware of how truly wrong their perception of human limits are.
Although these two books portray two very different time periods, the trust is the same, just as it is with today's world: blind and unskeptical, because Americans cannot learn to acknowledge human limits and be skepitical of the media.