April 3rd, 2009
For the “Love” of the Feed
“...She opened her mouth. Something trembled there. Juice. It came out in lo-grave as a
beautiful purple wobble.” Here, in M.T. Anderson's Feed, Titus elucidates his first impression of his
love interest, Violet. Throughout the science fiction novel, these two teenagers quickly become a
couple. Yet the 'side story' of their attraction to each other is indubitably evident, preeminently
axiomatic during the beginning and re-visited at the end of the book. Anderson discreetly discusses
objective love, as well as the perks of subjective loving, and the transition between the two
substantially different amours.
In commencement of his novel, the author writes according to idiosyncratic adoration. “[Juice]
stayed inches from her face. Her tongue was closed behind it, perched in the air like a pink slug
gargoyle” (19). Although Titus may believe Violet's looks are 'meg beautiful,' her actions speak
otherwise, 'being an unconventional bonus' (for the time frame this book was written in) of her
personality. For the duration of Feed, Titus constantly learns of the new, unorthodox tidbits Violet
possesses. “I looked at her funny. 'You write?' I said. 'With a pen?' 'Sure,' she said, a little
embarrassed” (65). Anderson believes that in the future, writing by hand will become antiquated. Still,
the “heroine” holds fast to these traditions. Although the reader would like to continue to see Titus and
Violet together, the author carried different plans. Titus and Violet would soon fall out of love.
As the novel winds down to the end, Titus discovers his girl is not his standard of 'perfect,' and
slips into looking at Violet with objective eyes. “'I keep picturing you dead already. It feels like I'm
being felt up by a zombie'” (269). With Violet's death already on her heels, Titus is unable to shake
these objective thoughts and views. Such a development effects what type of person he finds attractive.
Titus continues his rant to include other pieces of Violet's personality. “You wanted to mingle with the
common people. Just latch on to this one dumbass and make fun of his friends for being stupid...”
(271). Mr. 'Protagonist' no longer finds Violet's smarts enticing and wishes to revert back to his friend's
objective standards of love, lesions and all. What could have caused Titus' about face turn of emotions
and feelings he once had for Violet?
The feed. This 'advertisement chip' implanted in the brains of these future children causes
destruction in Anderson's dystopian novel in more ways than one. The first offense being its ineffective
word choice of 'supple' while attempting to describe Violet's spine (14). Second offense containing the
enhancement of Violet's breasts during the commercials running inside of Titus' brain while purchasing
the new car (122). The final offense consisting again of the 'wet t-shirt contest' commercial Titus
attempts to block out while he is with the dilapidated body of Violet (297). The feed's second priority,
other than sending out advertisements, is to spit out answers. Unfortunately, its answer for love is
primarily objective, and the proof is stated from beginning to end of Feed.
Anderson's science fiction novel can be viewed at various avenues. The destruction of human
kind as a species. Technology taking the place of the brain. A 'better', 'more technically advanced'
world. Or the novel can be seen as an underlying battle against subjective and objective love. The
transition between the former to the latter in this particular novel can only be accomplished by what the
media and advertisements beamed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week into the developing
minds of youngsters in Feed. The feed is undoubtedly guilty of subjective love slaughtering, and Titus'
and Violet's relationship within Anderson's novel sheds light upon what or who influences what we
believe is beautiful.