In parts one and two of Feed by M.T. Anderson we are introduced to the main characters, Violet and Titus, who meet during a trip to the Moon. Titus and a group of his friends meet Violet at a place where you can go to experience “lo-grav/no-grav”. From the first time Titus sees Violet he knows she is different from other girls. The group of teenagers eventually goes to a nightclub on the Moon where their feeds are hacked by an old man working for a group called the Coalition of Pity. Because of the hacker all but one of the friends are sent to the hospital where their feeds are disconnected so they can be checked for viruses. During their stay in the hospital Titus and Violet develop a relationship. At the end of section two the feeds are turned back on, and Titus describes how being reconnected to the feed felt like being in a “spring rain”.
It is clear from these two sections just how much the feed means to those that have it. They use it to do everything, and do not feel like they can function normally without it. They are continually “bannered” by advertisements, which can sometimes be overwhelming. I think these banners are probably the equivalent to what we would consider pop-ups today. The only difference being that the banner comes directly into your brain. I would imagine these would make functioning normally very difficult.
All of the issues presented in this novel are based on issues we have today. I think Titus’ character represents the typical American perspective. He finds the incredible places that he goes uninteresting he says that the Moon “sucks” and even gets into an argument with Violet about how the entire planet of Mars was “dumb”. As a people I think we can be very closed minded about other cultures and perspectives much like Titus is. He lives through his feed, and what his feed has to sell him. He doesn’t recognize the possibilities that the world around him has to offer. He is a consumer, and is easily influenced by the feed. This is very similar to how we are influenced by the media today.
I find it interesting that Anderson chose to tell this story through the eyes of a teenage boy. I think he probably did this for the same types of reasons Mark Twain had for choosing to tell the story of Huck Finn through the eyes of a child. I think teenagers have a unique perspective of the world. They are at a transitioning point in their lives where they go between being children who don’t have to care about anything going on in the world and being adults who must be responsible citizens. Teenagers also tend to be very materialistic and driven by the latest trends or fads. This comes across very strongly especially in the group of girls (Quendy, Calista, and Loga) that Titus hangs out with. They are heavily targeted by advertisers, and live very materialistic lives.