Feed

Feed is a novel by M.T. Anderson that talks about Titus, a teenager with the feed implanted into his head. It effectively try to present a future version of reality that seems uncomfortably believable. His take-off of over tolerant consumerism and dependence on technology creates a believable world in which people have internet connections, and feeds implanted in their brains.

In the first chapter, Your Face Is Not an Organ, Titus, the teenage narrator of the novel, and his friends go to the moon to have fun but found that the moon is boring. They go on a Friday to go to the Ricochet Lounge, a low gravity nightclub where they wear space suits and bounce off one another. Besides Titus, his guy friends Link and Marty join him. Three female friends, Calista, Loga and Quendy come along too.

Titus and his friends spend their spring break on the moon, which turns out to “totally suck”. While having fun in a low-gravity bar, Titus meets a girl named Violet Durn and invites her to a party later. At the party, they are all infected with a virus by an anti-feed protester from the Coalition of Pity. They wake up later in a hospital with their feeds shut down.

In the hospital, Titus meets literate and traditionalist Violet and this makes him think about the feed. While she copes with her impending death, she teaches Titus to resist the feed. Titus comes to like Violet, who is clearly different from the rest of his friends. She is far less perturbed by the loss of the feed than the others, and she shows Titus what the world outside the feed is like. They form a relationship in the hospital while they wait for their feeds to be fixed.

Once the feed is fixed and they’re released, things quickly go back to normal. Titus and Violet continue to develop their relationship, and Violet continues to show Titus the negative influence of the feed and the rampant consumerism. Titus rationalizes most of Violet’s arguments away. Violet still manages to convince Titus to help her mess up the data mining that companies do by monitoring consumers’ habits through the feed. For all of one day, they go through as many stores as possible, acting interested in a wide variety of products and services that they never actually buy.

In the novel, majority of the American population has a feed that not only controls their thoughts, but also their bodily functions. The feeds are controlled by large corporations that basically serve as the new government.

Early in the novel, Anderson allude to the idea that people may have a sense that they are being taken advantage of, but no one cares enough to want to leave the comfort of normalcy. The author uses Titus, the narrator, to explain his society’s general apathy toward the overwhelming power that these corporations have over the society when he says, “I mean, it’s not great, because who knows what evil shit they’re up to. Everyone feels bad about that. But they’re the only way to get all this stuff, and it’s no good getting pissy about it, because they’re still going to control everything whether you like it or not.” (48-49).They have let the feed control too much of their lives and now they are slaves to it. It keeps their minds so cluttered with media and advertisements that no one has time to stop and think.

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