Feed

Feed

by

M. T. Anderson

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Feed: Part 4: 54.1% Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Violet and Titus drive to some mountains, where they’ve made a hotel reservation. The hotel is ugly, and they joke about there being dead bodies sewn into the mattress. They walk around the town near the hotel, and Titus thinks, “maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, being with her.” Titus and Violet go out to dinner at a restaurant with people protesting outside—but nobody in the restaurant knows what they’re protesting.
Titus and Violet want to “get away.” As they’ve done before, they try to escape into the natural world (the mountains). However, even the mountains have become a consumerist playground where political unrest has taken root.
Themes
Resistance Theme Icon
The Environment Theme Icon
Back in their hotel, Violet tells Titus that she wants to experience everything before her death. She’s done some things with an old boyfriend, but never “the main event.” As they kiss, Violet tells Titus she admires him for leading a completely normal, carefree life. She says, “I love you, Titus.”
Violet wants to lose her virginity to Titus before her death. As before, the fact that she uses Titus’s real name (and says, “I love you”) suggests that she’s trying to be emotionally intimate with him.
Themes
Resistance Theme Icon
Titus tries to enjoy his time with Violet, but finds that he can’t even smile. Violet asks what the problem is. Titus hesitates and says, “I keep picturing you dead already.” Violet gets quiet. She remembers going to the moon for spring break, and how she had thought that she could have a “normal” life for once. She wanted to date Titus so that she could finally understand what “living” was. Titus protests that he didn’t know Violet was so serious about him. He claims he would’ve broken up with her weeks ago if she hadn’t gotten sick.
Titus can’t savor his time with Violet because he’s too fixated on the fact of her inevitable death. While this is perfectly understandable, the next words out of his mouth are deeply unkind. However cruel, Titus’s behavior could also be interpreted to self-protective, as he is reluctant to grow closer to someone he knows may die any day.
Themes
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
Furious, Violet asks Titus if he has any idea what’s happening in Central America. She explains that the rest of the world is preparing to fight the United States. People’s skin is falling off. Almost nothing grows on the earth anymore. But instead of paying attention to these problems, Violet snaps, Titus and his friends just have fun.
As before, Violet is far more aware of what’s happening around the world than Titus is (even though she’s been occupied with her own very serious health issues). In part, this is because Violet hails from lower on the socioeconomic totem pole than Titus, and is more likely to question the culture of consumerism (instead of just naively accepting and enjoying it).
Themes
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
The Environment Theme Icon
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Titus drives Violet home. He notices that she looks ugly when she cries, and decides, “it wasn’t working anymore.” While driving, he orders a jersey. When he and Violet have returned to Violet’s house, Violet climbs out of the upcar, and her arm freezes. Violet’s father tries to help her, but she insists on climbing down from the upcar on her own.
Titus continues to behave cruelly toward Violet, judging her for her appearance when she’s at her most vulnerable. Even so, Violet continues to conduct herself with great dignity, refusing the help of others.
Themes
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
Later on, Titus realizes that the last words he ever hears Violet speak with her own mouth are “Oh, shit.”
Titus’s relationship with Violet seems to end “not with a bang but a whimper”—just two banal words.
Themes
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon