Feed

Feed

by

M. T. Anderson

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Feed Symbol Icon

The central symbol of Feed is the feed itself. This technology, implanted in the characters’ heads shortly after they’re born, allows the characters to communicate electronically with each other. The feed also allows them to see a constant stream of advertisements for products—everything from sweater vests to cars. Finally, the feed gives the characters constant access to information and entertainment from around the world, meaning that they never have to work hard to find stimulation. The feed is, one might say, M.T. Anderson’s idea of what the internet will be like in the future, but the feed is also a symbol for corporate control. In the future, Anderson suggests, corporations will exercise so much power over their customers that they’ll actually be able to control what their customers are thinking at any given time, using propagandistic advertising techniques to “nudge” them into buying certain products or going to certain places. The feed is, in short, a frightening symbol for the way that people are increasingly trained to think in the same way and desire the same products.

Feed Quotes in Feed

The Feed quotes below all refer to the symbol of Feed. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Candlewick Press edition of Feed published in 2012.
Part 2: Missing the Feed Quotes

But the braggest thing about the feed, the thing that made it really big, is that it knows everything you want and hope for, sometimes before you even know what those things are.

Related Characters: Titus (speaker)
Related Symbols: Feed
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: Undervalued Truffle Quotes

"It is not the will of the American people, the people of this great nation, to believe the allegations that were made by these corporate “watch” organizations, which are not the majority of the American people, I repeat not, and aren't its will. It is our duty as Americans, and as a nation dedicated to freedom and free commerce, to stand behind our fellow Americans and not cast . . . things at them. Stones, for example. The first stone. By this I mean that we shouldn’t think that there are any truth to the rumors that the lesions are the result of any activity of American industry.

Related Characters: President Trumbull (speaker)
Related Symbols: Feed, Lesions
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: The Others in Mal Quotes

I feel like we're the only two of us who like remember the, like, the thing.

People want to forget.
You can't blame them.

Related Characters: Titus (speaker), Violet Durn (speaker)
Related Symbols: Feed
Page Number: 90
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: Lose the Chemise Quotes

What I've been doing over the feed for the last two days, is trying to create a customer profile that's so screwed, no one can market to it. I'm not going to let them catalog me. I'm going to become invisible.

Related Characters: Violet Durn (speaker), Titus
Related Symbols: Feed
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: A Day in the Country Quotes

And we are the nation of dreams. We are seers. We are wizards. We speak in visions. Our letters are like flocks of doves, released from under our hats. We have only to stretch out our hand and desire, and what we wish for settles like a kerchief in our palm. We are a race of sorcerers, enchanters. We are Atlantis. We are the wizard-isle of Mu.

What we wish for, is ours.

Related Characters: Titus (speaker)
Related Symbols: Feed
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: Our Duty to the Party Quotes

Violet was screaming, "Look at us! You don't hate the feed! You are feed! You're feed! You're being eaten! You're raised for food! Look at what you've made yourselves!" She pointed at Quendy, and went, "She’s a monster! A monster!"

Related Characters: Titus (speaker), Violet Durn (speaker), Quendy
Related Symbols: Feed, Lesions
Page Number: 202
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: 80.9% Quotes

14. I want to get older.
15. I want to see the years pass.
16. Sometime, I want to wear a cardigan and have a golden retriever named … I don’t know.

Related Characters: Violet Durn (speaker)
Related Symbols: Feed
Page Number: 231
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: 76.3% Quotes

You are such a shithead. You don't know what happened to me this morning. And the news. Titus—this morning . . I can't believe in the middle of all this, you went and got malfunctioned. You are such an asshole and a shithead.

Related Characters: Violet Durn (speaker), Titus
Related Symbols: Feed
Page Number: 242
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: 59.3% Quotes

I went to the kitchen to get a drink of water. I filled a glass. I looked at the window over the sink.
I deleted everything she had sent me.

Related Characters: Titus (speaker), Violet Durn
Related Symbols: Feed
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Summertime Quotes

It was like I kept buying these things to be cool, but cool was always flying just ahead of me, and I could never exactly catch up to it.
I felt like I'd been running toward it for a long time.

Related Characters: Titus (speaker)
Related Symbols: Feed
Page Number: 279
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: 4.6% Quotes

"It's about this meg normal guy, who doesn't think about anything until one wacky day, when he meets a dissident with a heart of gold." I said, "Set against the backdrop of America in its final days, it's the high-spirited story of their love together, it's laugh-out-loud funny, really heartwarming, and a visual feast." I picked up her hand and held it to my lips. I whispered to her fingers. "Together, the two crazy kids grow, have madcap escapades, and learn an important lesson about love. They learn to resist the feed. Rated PG-13. For language," I whispered, "and mild sexual situations."
I sat in her room, by her side, and she stared at the ceiling. I held her hand. On a screen, her heart was barely beating.
I could see my face, crying, in her blank eye.

Related Characters: Titus (speaker), Violet Durn
Related Symbols: Feed
Page Number: 297-298
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Feed LitChart as a printable PDF.
Feed PDF

Feed Symbol Timeline in Feed

The timeline below shows where the symbol Feed appears in Feed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Your Face is Not An Organ
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
The friends go to the moon, and their “feeds” give them lots of information about what to buy. Titus thought that he’d be excited... (full context)
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
...to go to the moon to “meet someone.” He’s been feeling lonely, even when his feed tells him about new music. On the ride across the surface of the moon, Link... (full context)
Part 1: Impact
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
The friends arrive at their hotel. Their feeds “go fugue,” telling them where to shop and eat, to the point where Titus can... (full context)
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
...into words why he finds her beautiful. As he tries to find the words, his feed suggests her spine is “supple.” (full context)
Part 1: The Moon is in the House of Boring
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
At the Rumble Spot, there are lots of people wearing expensive shorts, which Titus’s feed advertises to him. Titus “chats” Violet, asking if she dances. He notices that she seems... (full context)
Part 2: Missing the Feed
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Titus misses his feed. He’s unsure when feeds were invented—maybe a century ago. Before that, people used their eyes... (full context)
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Class and Segregation Theme Icon
The best thing about the feed, according to Titus, is that it knows “everything you want and hope for, sometimes before... (full context)
Part 2: Cache & Carry
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Titus looks at a few “pages” he saved from before his feed stopped. The pages show ads, and Titus regrets that he has missed so many great... (full context)
Part 2: Dead Language
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Class and Segregation Theme Icon
...has been writing since she was a child.  Titus asks, “Why don’t you use the feed? It’s way faster.” (full context)
Part 2: Release
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
...their brains to make sure there are no “permanent hacks.” Suddenly, Titus can feel his feed again—there’s an ad for a “Ford Laputa,” along with hundreds of others. The ads come... (full context)
Part 3: Undervalued Truffle
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
The Environment Theme Icon
Meanwhile, on the feed, there are reports that President Trumbull has attacked “corporate watch organizations” for daring to criticize... (full context)
Part 3: Nudging
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
...the dream, he plays games for free. Suddenly, he senses that somebody is “nudging” his feed. He asks who it is, and a voice replies that the police want to know... (full context)
Part 3: Lose the Chemise
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
...than her father can afford. Then, Violet tells Titus to drop her off at the feed technician’s office. Titus drops her off, but just before he drives away, he notices that... (full context)
Part 3: A New Place
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Titus reports, “Being with Violet was great.” Violet did not grow up with a feed because her father forbade it, and it was too expensive. She’s very new to the... (full context)
Part 3: The Dimples of Delglacey
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Class and Segregation Theme Icon
...talks politics. He’s also embarrassed when Violet notes that only 73 percent of Americans have feeds—Titus didn’t realize there were so many who didn’t. Violet explains that she didn’t get her... (full context)
Part 3: Observe the Remarkable Verdure
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Class and Segregation Theme Icon
...that Titus can’t understand. Titus notices that Violet’s father carries an old version of the feed on his back, making him almost hunchbacked. Titus tells Violet’s father that he and Violet... (full context)
Part 3: A Day in the Country
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Titus drops off Violet and then goes home. He sees his family members using their feeds to dream. His parents are “going mal” and Smell Factor is dreaming about talking giraffes.... (full context)
Part 3: Nudging Again
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Suddenly, Violet chats Titus. She explains that somebody was “nosing around” in her feed, even though she put up her shield. Violet tries to call FeedTech Customer Assistance, but... (full context)
Part 3: Fight and Flight
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Class and Segregation Theme Icon
Suddenly, Violet explains what’s really been going on: her feed is malfunctioning. She’s been going to technicians, but nobody can fix her feed, partly because... (full context)
Part 3: Limbo and Prayer
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
The Environment Theme Icon
In the interlude, the feed sends out “Hot Sex Tips for Girls,” followed by a political speech about how the... (full context)
Part 3: Flat Hope
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
Class and Segregation Theme Icon
The Environment Theme Icon
...people shuffle around “with no music on the floor,” but they broadcast music into their feeds. Quendy’s entire body is covered in lesions, which Violet finds horrifying. Violet chats Titus that... (full context)
Part 3: Our Duty to the Party
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
Class and Segregation Theme Icon
The Environment Theme Icon
...playing games, and our skin is falling off.” She continues, shrieking, “You don’t have the feed! You are feed! You’re feed! You’re being eaten!” She calls Quendy a monster. Titus tries... (full context)
Part 4: 52.9%
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
...information about Violet, but she just tells him to rest his eyes. He listens to feed ads for cars and movies, pacing around the room. As he does so, people rush... (full context)
Part 4: 87.3%
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
...two sit in the waiting room. Violet’s father shows Titus that he can monitor her feed function—if her efficiency rises above 98%, then she’ll be fine. (full context)
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
...hospital. Titus eats dinner and tries to do some homework, but ends up watching his feed instead. He falls asleep and has a strange dream in which he counts beads of... (full context)
Part 4: 87.1%
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
...FeedTech for free repairs, since Violet’s father can’t pay for the tests himself. However, Violet’s feed warranty expired a long time ago. Violet’s father claims that he’ll give his business to... (full context)
Part 4: 52.0%
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
...find a message from Violet. In it, she explains that her mother never had a feed because she didn’t want a “brain mole.” Violet’s father’s parents didn’t have the money to... (full context)
Part 4: 76.3%
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
Class and Segregation Theme Icon
The Environment Theme Icon
...and drives to Violet’s house. As he drives, he dreams about sweater vests, and his feed says that the Prime Minister of the Global Alliance has stated, “the biological integrity of... (full context)
Part 4: 57.2%
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
...something else is wrong with her. She confesses that she wants to live without her feed. However, she can’t turn off her feed right now, because it controls too many vital... (full context)
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
Violet says that her feed has been recommending new requiem masses for her. To Violet’s chagrin, she likes some of... (full context)
Part 4: The Deep
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Class and Segregation Theme Icon
The Environment Theme Icon
At dinner, Titus’s dad shows his family feed memories of his latest “corporate adventure,” in which he and his coworkers went whale hunting.... (full context)
Part 4: 4.6%
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
...speak anymore. He recalls how, years ago, he decided that Violet would never have a feed—after all, he didn’t, and neither did his wife. Then, he went to a job interview... (full context)
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
Class and Segregation Theme Icon
The Environment Theme Icon
...remember you.” He begins to weep. He promises to tell Violet a story about the feed. In this story, a normal guy meets a “dissident with a heart of gold.” The... (full context)
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
Class and Segregation Theme Icon
The Environment Theme Icon
The chapter, and the book, ends with a feed ad for a blue jeans sale. The ad repeats, “Everything must go” again and again,... (full context)