Feed by M. T. Anderson
Feed, a satirical novel written by M. T. Anderson, depicts a futuristic world where technology is not just all around us anymore, but inside our own heads at all times. The majority of Americans have a Feed. This is the mechanism that is installed into one’s brain (preferably at birth, as the reader learns) that allows for one to immediately look up anything, watch a show, shop, message one another and everything else that people nowadays are used to doing using laptops and cell phones. As Anderson makes clear in an essay in the postscript of the book, this novel was not meant as a warning of what the future may hold, but a satire on the world as he saw it when as he was writing the novel. This makes Feed much more frightening, as many parallels with our world of today become apparent throughout. This is startling because throughout the novel it becomes apparent that the dependence on this new technology leads the characters in the novel to have a lack of personhood, intelligence and true cultural awareness.
The lack of personhood is constantly manifested, and in several different ways, throughout the whole of the novel. When Violet becomes sick from her malfunctioning Feed, her father tries to petition the corporations to fix it, but she had been doing her “experiments” where she went pretended to be interesting in random items but never bought them so the Feed would be unable to classify her. This turned out to be part of her downfall because the corporations all decided that she was not “…a reliable investment” (247). This shows that the corporations only view their customers as commodities, and if this commodity cannot be relied on to increase their profits, then that human life is worthless. On the flipside, all of Titus’s female friends are easily classified. These girls get updates throughout the day of what the new style is and run to the bathroom and change their hair or clothes to fit in, and because of this blind following of...
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