Young Adult Lit/Crit

March 24, 2008

FEED on this

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mandy @ 11:28 am

I finished FEED this past weekend, and I can understand why this is so popular among adolescents, but at the same time I wonder if they realize that this entire book is a satire of their culture and the consumerism that dominates their lives. Go to the mall anytime, and you are sure to observe a group of teens or tweens (teens who aren’t teens yet, but are in between childhood and adolescents), dressed somewhat fashionably, and equipped with cell phones, who like, use the word like in like every like sentence, similar to the characters in this text. Aside from capturing this part of the adolescent world, Anderson does a lot of other really interesting things in this text, with his made-up vocabulary/slang, to his actual excerpts of what the feed sounds like in Titus’ head, to the characterizations of his father and the President as total morons. Also, it would be awesome to use a cultural lens on this story!


Some things I was considering while reading this text that seem important include the significance of the lesions, the importance of the “story” that Titus tells Violet at the end of the book while she is in a coma, the irony of being an intellectual in this world, and why the future is so often portrayed as bleak? I look forward to our discussion of this text. What did you all note as significant or interesting?




  1. Mandy, I’m glad you got us started on a discussion of FEED. Satire on the adolescent world–yea but–how did the adolescent world end up on the feed? I think for me as a “mature” reader (please don’t read “old”) the novel is more about the adult world–and don’t you love that characterization of the pres? More later…I hope others will post. What do you make of the lesions??? KES

    Comment by sunyprof — March 24, 2008 @ 3:35 pm

  2. Mandy,

    As I told you today in class, I just began FEED, since I had been completely sucked into SHATTERING GLASS for the first couple days. Without a doubt, FEED is satirical of society (both today and past). The vocabulary may take some getting used to for younger readers, but once through a chapter or two, one would most likely forget the difference. Interesting how it’s a challenge to read sentences with the word “like” used so frequently, yet American teens seem to abuse and misuse the words everyday when they are speaking! Looking at FEED from a cultural lens is a given – a must. What about post-colonial? I’ve always had trouble with the significance of looking at a text from a post-colonial lens, but I think it would work with this book. What do you think? I’ll post more once I’m further into or done with the book.


    Comment by jexter1 — March 24, 2008 @ 7:50 pm

  3. I also wondered if kids reading this book would realize that this book as meant as satirical, or if they would just see this as a cool future world. However, I do think that teens would pick up on some of the gross general knowledge mistakes Titus makes, such as on page 47 when he talks about which battles George Washington fought in during the Civil War. If I were to read this book with my kids, I think I would start there and move on to the use of “like” and the others ways in which good things have really fallen apart.

    I would be interested in hearing more kids’ opinions on this book, as the only one that I have heard was from one of my kids who didn’t love it. We talked briefly about it and had pretty similar opinions.

    Comment by katefrazer — March 25, 2008 @ 5:06 pm

  4. I finished FEED yesterday and thought it was really cool. I love Anderson’s made up words and slang, but even more his description of the world. I like when an author leaves parts out so that you (reader) have to make up some of it too. I definitely had to make up a lot in my head; i.e. when the word upcar is used, I didn’t realize that they actually flew above houses and the clouds (or CloudsTM) until about half way thru the book when Titus describes hovering over the street in front of Violet’s that people used to drive on, not over.

    I think readers would get the satire of the book. Any teens that I know love the popular “scary movie” films that poke fun at other movies. Maybe the definition satire would be hard for some to pin down, but they would know that it’s funny and why (it makes fun of a consumer-driven future world.)

    My book had some discussion questions at the back that I read through, and one that I couldn’t answer myself, and wondered at the importance, was the significance of Violet’s name. Any ideas??

    As for the lesions, at first I thought they were a disease, like cancer is today. But then they became a thing to have, so that confused me. When Qwendy’s got worse I thought she was dying. I am wondering if the lesions have anything to do with the feed’s use, since Qwendy and Calista, who seemed to be the most in tune with what was ‘meg’ and ‘wow’, were probably listening and using their feeds to find out about the next fad. Also the fact that Titus’ lesion was smaller and in a less obvious spot than his friends were, does that relate to him being not so caught up in the feed, but not quite questioning/resisting of the feed like Violet (who never gets one)?


    Comment by ebrazee — March 26, 2008 @ 11:08 am

  5. Interesting how pretentious and fast-paced society is now and could be in the future &/or another realm…

    Comment by jexter1 — March 26, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

  6. this is a great discush.

    To add, I felt that Titus and Violet were ossilating for me between being in this futuristic type world, and the present day. Violet was suffering (for me) from terminal illness (which is a pun, I guess, and sorry that it is such low humor.) Titus reacted to her much the same way a friend of mine did upon finding out that a close buddy had leukemia. The whole “deleting” memories, etc., was completely realistic. It is difficult to grapple with mortality.


    Comment by joycehansen — March 26, 2008 @ 1:59 pm

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