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Power and Manipulation is a big concept part in any real life

situation. Imagine if a system is installed in your brain, and they manipulate

your mind by sending you advertisements, in order to make you purchase
their products. In M.T Andersons novel Feed, human beings are being
manipulated and controlled. In his description of the Dystopian world,
technology is very rich. And people are communicating through a system call
Feed. However their conversation is being scanned and read by the
corporates. That means their privacy is being taken away. The inventor of
Feed wants their customers to think that they are living in a word without
imperfection. But of course in real life, the natural environment is destroyed.
First of all, people are very used to having a feed in their brain and they are
losing their individual thinking. Secondly, if people try to fight against the
Feed, their body will be overwhelmed and will instantly lose control. Lastly,
people are often brainwashed. They believe in every single piece of
information the Feed provides. Therefore, manipulation creates chaos
towards the ending of the book.
To start with the theme Power and Manipulation, characters in Feed
are so used to having the feed that they rely on it now. As a result, they
believe in every piece of information the Feed provides as credible.
Generally, teenagers are usually very self-centred, uninformed and do not
have a sense of security and they do not realize the company is reading their
Feed. They do not realize their privacy is no longer in their hands. In the
book, there is a character called Titus. He is a young man who cannot live
his life without Feed, just like other young people as described in the book.
These young people are so used to the feed that they cannot do anything
without it. Titus has terrible grammar, whenever he cannot explain a
situation; he will start using slang like:
Ohmigod, I missed the Feed. I dont know when they first had Feeds.
Like maybe, fifty or a hundred years ago. Before that, they had to use
their hands and their eyes. Computers were all outside the body. They
carried them around in their hands. The book even used an analogy of
like if you carried your lungs in a briefcase and opened it to breathe.
(Anderson 47).
Other examples of people getting really dependent on the Feed is when Titus
was hacked on the moon, he gets bored with his life without Feed. With
nothing else to do; because he spends most of his time shopping online and
using this system to communicate with his friends - he prefers sending his
friends messages even when his friends are besides him. As a result there is
no way for teenagers like Titus to get rid of the Feed, as it is so convenient.
Once, a consumer own a Feed, he will be manipulated by the corporate and
eventually lose his skills on determining what is right or wrong.

When you have the feed all your life, youre brought up to not think
about things. Like them never telling you that its a republic and not a
democracy. Its something that makes me angry, what people dont
know about these days. Because of the feed, were raising a nation of
idiots. Ignorant, self-centred idiots.(Anderson 113).
Violet points out that Feed have been hiding much important information
from users as they want to create a world without imperfection. Moving on,
people with a Feed do not know that the world has been damaged, they trust
the Feed blindly. It is so terrifying that people are manipulated without even
recognizing it. And as people rely on it so much, they end up being so
dependent and lose their independent thinking ability. Adding on the
previous proof, having Feed in their brain is definitely a burden as it can
control anything: their memories, their health, their privacy and even their
life. Corporates look into what they are looking at and corporates read what
they read.
They try to figure out who you are, and to make you conform to one of
their types for easy marketing. Its like a spiral: They keep making
everything more basic, so it will appeal to everyone. And gradually,
everyone gets used to everything being basic, so we at less and less
varied as people, more simple. So the corps makes everything even
simpler. And it goes on and on(Anderson97).
From the quotation above, once the Feed analysed what their consumers
want and his desires, it tries to market him to various products.
Consequently he will make these purchases. They send him ads based on
your personality. And this is one form of manipulation as before you even
know what you want, Feed convinces you to buy their products. And since
people are very used to Feed, they rely on it to memorize things. Eventually,
they lose their basic skills without realizing it.
Children like Violet who have Feed later in their life, they will ask
questions, being curious and may disagree on what she was told. And when
she tries to fight against it, she ends up hurting herself. First of all, when
Violet and Titus was on the moon, they were hacked but everyone else was
fine except for Violet. It is like a warning for her to cooperate with the Feed.
Then we were in the hospital. They took me away from the rest of you
and told me, Your feed is damaged. Theres a danger it may be lifethreatening And I came down and took you away, and kissed you.
This demonstrates that Violet is forced to have Feed. Had she known it will
be like this, she will not risk and install Feed in her brain. Unfortunately,
when she tries to fight against the Feed, the corporates is just too strong.

Having the Feed in her brain is extremely dangerous as they can kill her in a
heart-beat. Additionally, when Violet was seriously ill, her dad only asked
help from FeedTech, an affiliate of Feed. But they think Violet is not worth it
for an investment, therefore they watch her die, which is despicable.
Unfortunately, FeedTech and the other investors reviewed your
purchasing history, and we dont feel that you would be a reliable
investment at this time. No one could get what we call handle on
your shopping habits, like for example you asking for information about
all those wow and brag products and then never buying anything.
Everyone is just a piece of investment to this corporation. Their values are
really nauseous: letting Violet die when there is still a chance of curing her.
Life is very vulnerable and everyone should have the right to live. Just
because she does not have buying power according to Feed, it does not
mean she is not worthy. With no surprise, Violet loses her memories later. In
particular, she loses her precious memories before having Feed. No matter
how hard she tried, but she failed and suffered, and put her life in danger.
Titus, Im afraid of silence. Im afraid my memory will go soon. When I
try to think about that year that disappeared, from six to seven, its
nothing, I mean, I cant remember anything, but I can remember
remembering, but I cant remember anything that happened to me
right before I got the feed. Im afraid Im going to lose my past. Who
are we, if we wont have a past? (Anderson253)
Violet disagrees on Feed and hates the concept of it. In order to deal with
her, the corporation decided to take away her memories since childhood
before having Feed. The previous quotations and explanations prove that
having Feed in your brain is risky. The corporation is so huge and powerful,
and they would not allow anyone against them. If they blacklisted a
customer, he will eventually lose control over his body, and it will start to
break apart.
Lastly, Feed is also a brainwashing machine. It raises idiots without
common sense. People with Feed do not need, and do not have basic
knowledge: they will not know what is happening around the world, whether
it is a democracy or republic. They will believe that they are living in a
perfect world. Their only happiness is consuming useless machine and
products. Having said that, feed has pros and cons, they can keep everything
simple and basic. However it can also be harmful as described above.
Nobody knows. The feed is tied in to everything. Your body control,
your emotions, your memory. Everything. Sometimes feed errors are
fatal. I dont know. They thought it would stabilize. But it didnt. Its

getting worse. Meg worse. They told me yesterday its

deteriorating.(Anderson 170)
Feed is also like a killing machine; their customers never know what will
happen to him in the next second. As it can destroy everything easily, and
errors can happen that stops his body from moving. And he will not feel
anything after that. A perfect example of people who trusted Feed blindly is
Tituss dad. He is very biased, he thinks that Feed is awesome and believes
in everything it says. He is also very close minded and do not look at things
Yeah, thats what happened, said Dad, shrugging. You got to have
air. Violet pointed out, Trees make air, which kind of worried me
because I Knew Da would think it was snotty. My father stared at her
for a long time. Then he said Yeah. Sure. Do you know how inefficient
trees are, next to an air factory? But we need trees! For what? he
said I mean, theyre nice, and its too bad, but like Do you know
how much real estate costs? (Anderson125)
This conversation states that, Titus dad was already brainwashed by the
Feed. He is a grown-up, but unfortunately, he does not believe in what Violet
said. She is right that trees make air, not some kind of weird machine. He
thinks that money can solve any problem, and trees are unproductive. He
does not realize that by chopping off trees, it will worsen the situation.
Another example is Titus is very patriotic and believes that there is true
democracy in his world. He thinks that he has to believe in order to change
things because it is a democracy. However, he does not realize that
everything is just made up by the propaganda.

In the world where Titus lives in, it is definitely a republic. The feed controls
everything and make every single decision. People do not have a chance to
speak up nor decide anything. Their life would be miserable like Violet if they
are against this system. Sadly, there are naive people like Titus who blindly
believe it is a democracy. Feed is top notch in this dystopia world. And Feed
has been hiding information from the users. When people are so united and
think exactly the way Feed wants them to, it makes them easily controlled
and manipulated. That is how this corporation effortlessly earn the trust from
their customers.
To conclude, in M.T. Andersons Feed, the machine known as the feed is
very successful. The feed achieves its goal by manipulating consumers to
purchase products from its affiliates. It also brainwashes their customer,
making them believe they are staying in a world without flaws. In the
beginning, a feed make people dependent on them by making itself essential

to most peoples daily life. Then, after gaining the trust of people, they
control everything, and they also manipulate people to consume products
that it wants you to buy. And when you have people like Violet who tried hard
to fight against the system, she ends up breaking down her body. Feed has
already taken over ones body. Finally, because of the propaganda messages
sent out by the corporation, people believe in everything they are told and
lose their power of individual thinking and decision making, they do not have
any knowledge about the world they live in. As a result, it is ironic how
people want to improve their standard of living by investing better
technology for our own benefits. Unfortunately it does not always turn out
well, and sometimes it made things worse. The author draws similarities
between his book and our increasing use of the internet. And after this, we
are increasingly seeing that in the real world.