M. T. Anderson

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Themes and Colors
Corporations and Consumerism Theme Icon
Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction Theme Icon
Resistance Theme Icon
Class and Segregation Theme Icon
The Environment Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Feed, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Corporations and Consumerism

Anderson’s novel takes place in a futuristic version of America in which corporations have replaced the government as the most powerful societal institution. In the novel’s dystopian vision of the future, corporations exert control over American citizens by convincing them to spend all their money on products they don’t need, and all their time thinking about what to buy next. Almost all Americans have tiny devices implanted in their brains, called “feeds,” which…

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Apathy, Happiness, and Satisfaction

Apathy is the emotion that corporations aim to produce in their consumers, and as a result it has become the default emotional state of the characters in Feed. Titus and his friends coast through life, spending all their money on obscenely expensive products and exotic vacations. And yet, instead of being excited by all these new trips and purchases, Titus and his friends seem to be almost constantly bored. The reason for Titus’s apathy—and…

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Like much science fiction, Feed is a thinly veiled critique of the present. Americans in the 21st century may not have chips implanted in their brains, but they’re arguably the victims of corporate brainwashing, and they are certainly rampant consumers. Their government ignores evidence of environmental degradation and corporate malfeasance while sanctimoniously claiming to support “free trade.” Anderson even dedicated his novel to “all those who fight the feed.” This might suggest that Anderson wants…

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Class and Segregation

Feed is about a society in which people are so carefully classified and sorted according to their consumption habits that they only spend time with people who are more or less exactly like them. The characters in the book aren’t sorted by intelligence, race, gender, or health. Instead, they’re sorted by their taste profiles—which is just another way of saying they’re sorted by their economic class. By depicting a society of this kind, Feed argues…

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The Environment

Throughout Feed, M.T. Anderson shows how the unchecked growth of technology and corporate power has ravaged the environment. Some of the effects of environmental degradation are purely physical. For instance, because of unchecked corporate expansion—in the form of factories, industrial farms, hotels, infrastructure, and so forth—there’s an unprecedented amount of pollution. Constant corporate activity has sucked much of the oxygen out of the air and also raised the temperature of the planet to the…

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