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Jason Wodley
Professor Filbeck
English 114B
24, February 2014
Reliance or Defiance
Being well educated allows for understanding and creates for expression of opinion
toward implemented rules. In the novel Feed by M.T Anderson, Anderson describes a dystopian
society where the majority of the people have been implanted with a technological device called
a Feed. The Feed acts like a built in computer, allowing the user to feed chat, look up
information on the feed net, and ultimately receive help on decisions to be made. The Feed
network is the main bridge that connects users to a corporation. This Feed is described through
the point of view of the main character named Titus. Titus is an observant, stubborn teenager
who is experiencing firsthand the addiction to the Feed due to all the benefits it provides.
However, once Titus fully experiences the effects of the Feed, he realizes that the feed is actually
causing the downfall of society. Violet, one of Titus's friends, is a poor girl who finds the Feed to
be intriguing. She is well educated and determines that the Feed is the republic's way of exerting
control through the corporations and getting people to do what they want. In society today,
reliance on technology can be a less severe example to the Feed. We are constantly spend our
free time on our phones and watching T.V.. We also use the computer to spend our free time,
completing work, or researching information. In this way, reliance can become dangerous
because we may find ourselves becoming too dependent to the point where we cannot function
without the given device. Although Anderson explains a severe dystopian society, I agree that
the reliance on the Feed can foreshadow a dangerous reliance on technology in today's society
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because of the growing use of technology. I also agree that the more we use computers and
machines to do our work, the more dependent we become
The Feed is first described as being the literal control center of everyone's life when Titus
and his friends come across a night club on the moon. In this night club they are touched by a
metal handle, held by an old man who is a feed hacker. Those touched scream "we enter a time
of calamity", showing them as contracting a virus which can only be engraved into the Feed's
technology(Anderson 38). They then witness policemen beating the man and rush the teenagers
to the hospital. Once at the hospital, the doctors explain the virus that has attacked their Feeds.
Anderson uses this situation to demonstrate the Feed is not merely just a computer that can affect
the technology itself, but can infect the user it is attached to. It is now shown to be another limb
of the body, equivalent to an arm or a leg. Without this attachment, the teenagers find themselves
bored and at a loss as to what to do while in the hospital. They sit for days in their beds looking
at the walls and ceilings, representing the great need for the Feed. Once they are rid of the virus,
"the Feed [starts] pouring in on [them]" (70), as if it were a drug they could feel and not live
without and they "dance in it like rain"(71), while "running [their] hands across [their] bodies,
feeling them again"(71). This shows how much the Feed controls their minds and happiness. The
Feed is like a drug and allows the user to feel the benefits it provides. People's reliance on the
Feed leads to the destruction on the society. In this case, too much use will hinder the individual
from carrying out their daily lives when they are forced without it.
Knowledge has also greatly decreased with the use of the Feed. Titus describes "one of
the great things about the Feed--that you can be super smart without ever working" (47).
Although he is wrong, since those with the Feed passively look up information on the Feed net
and read it straight off the net without really learning it. Violet is a great example of how much
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the feed has taken away intelligence. She did not receive her Feed until the age of seven. Her
father felt forced when she was younger to implement her Feed, even though the doctors said
there can be a problem with her getting the Feed at such a late age. Violet explains to Titus that
"when you have the Feed all your life, you're brought up to not think about things", showing that
Titus is one of those who took things as they come and is not really able to think for
himself(113). If Titus were well educated he would have been able to think for himself and make
an educated decision whether or not to implement the Feed. Violet questions all the government
does with the Feed. She explains that the government has censored some information ,"like them
never telling [Titus] its a republic and not a democracy"(113). Since the society is a republic,
certain people are chosen to lead and make the rules. A responsible republic's "purpose is to
control The Majority Strictly" in a way that is for the good of the people and not their own self
interest( The corporations leading this dystopian society are able to deceive the
people through the Feed, make it appear that they are in control of their lives, but in reality they
are not.
Technology has replaced many daily jobs and activities, just as the Feed replaced the
"dead language"(Feed 64). The dead language, taught by Violet's father, is a written language
which has been deemed as unnecessary when the Feed came out. Some of our modern day
technology and computers are analogous to the Feed. Often photographs are used to replace
beautiful paintings (27 stunning works). Technology can capture greatly detailed and diverse
pictures in just seconds while it would take artists many years to replicate. The use of hand
produced paintings is replaced with photographs. Computers also are able to enhance the way
people research. The use of the internet has taken away the reliance of printed books and
documents. With everything stored in the cloud, you can find information significantly faster
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than it would take for you to go to the library and find the book or document you need. This can
lead to a dependency which can be detrimental if the user has become so reliant that they cannot
function without it. A recent Time magazine survey has found that "84 percent of people
surveyedsaid they couldnt go a single day without their mobile device in hand", showing that
the reliance has been so great that they wouldnt know what to do without it(Duerson).
Furthermore "75 percent of 25-29 year olds said they took their phones to bed", indicating that
cell phones are the last thing people use during the day and ultimately the last thing on their
mind(Duerson). Without the technology we use to carry out a certain job, or just waste time, we
will be left sitting and waiting, not knowing what to do, just as Titus and his friends were as they
were laying on their hospital beds. John Grohol, Psy.D gives an example of this happening by
describing "some new architects' [as not knowing] how to design a 50-story building on paper,
without the aid of a CAD program". The reliance on technology is becoming so great that it
could be detrimental society could not function without it.
Anderson explains a dystopian society through the eyes of Titus. The society has been
internally controlled by a transmitter known, as a Feed, and is implemented in the majority of the
citizens' brains. It is a newly formed body part that functions as a drug. When taken away, Titus
and his friends are lost in the world, not knowing what to do or how to think. The Feed has also
deemed some things as unnecessary, such as the dead language. In a similar way technology,
such as computers and cameras, are replacing many jobs and art. This can lead to a dystopian
society described in the novel Feed. I agree with Anderson that we should be more vigilant and
not forget how to function without technology. I do not believe that the reliance of technology
will replicate such a severe society described. I feel that since many people are educated about
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the risks and destructions that can occur, we will be less prompted to going down a dangerous
route sociologically.

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Works cited
Anderson, M. T. Feed. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick, 2002. Print.
"BuzzFeed." 27 Stunning Works Of Art You Wont Believe Arent Photographs. N.p., 4 June
2013. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
Duerson, Meena Hart. "We're Addicted to Our Phones: 84% Worldwide Say They Couldn't Go a
Single Day without Their Mobile Device in Their Hand." NY Daily News. NEW YORK
DAILY NEWS, 16 Aug. 2012. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.
Grohol, John M., Psy.D. "Why Reliance on Technology Is a Bad Thing | World of Psychology."
Psych N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
Long, Hamilton Abert. "An Important Distinction: Democracy versus Republic." An Important
Distinction: Democracy versus Republic. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.