English 394 – Masterpieces of Young Adult American Literature

Feed by M.T. Anderson – Discussion Questions

 

Directions:  As you prepare answers for the following discussion questions, find passages from the text (when appropriate) to support your arguments.

 

·        What effect does the author achieve through “teenspeak?”  There is ubiquitous use of foul language and meaningless clichés and words such as “like” and “thing.”  Why?

 

·        How does the author represent world corporations?

 

·        Give two examples of the author’s use of satire in the book.  What is Anderson satirizing in the novel?  (Be sure you understand the definition of satire, and how and why it is used in literature.)

 

·        What does Titus learn from Violet about the world?

 

·        Titus says:  “I wanted to buy some things, but I didn’t know what they were.”  Comment.

 

·        What rules the characters in the novel?

 

·        How is this novel a typical love story?  How does the love story depart from the formula?

 

·        How does Violet’s education differ from the education of the others in the novel?

 

·        What is a metaphor?  Why is it important that Violet compliments Titus for using a metaphor (52)?  Actually he uses a simile.

 

·        How are the lesions used as a trope in the novel?

 

·        What is the characters’ perception of history?

 

·        How old must a reader be to appreciate and understand this book fully?

 

Journal Responses

 

·        What have we gained or lost because of technology?  How has technology shaped us, changed us?

 

·        How do you know what you want?

 

·        How do you know when you are happy?

 

·        How much do the media influence the decisions you make in life?

 

·        Feed is a futuristic novel (a cautionary tale).  But where in the novel do you see examples of current society?  Feed thus becomes an allegory.

 

·        Comment on the President’s comments on page 70.

 

·        Comment on Titus’s story about Violet on pages 233-234.

 

·        Make a “definitive list” of things you want to do.  Look at chapter “80.9%.”

 

·        List the ways you communicate with others.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of each form of communication? 

 

·        What is (are) the theme(s) of this book?

 

Activities

 

·        Chart the number of hours you spend using “technology” for one day.

 

·        Keep a chart of how much the media influences you in a day or week.

 

·        Eliminate as much “technology” as possible from your life for one day or one week.  Write a narrative of your experience.  What did you learn?

 

·        List as many jingles or slogans as you can think of from the media.  Match the jingle with the product.

 

·        Create a dictionary of e-mail slang.

 

·        Create a dictionary of college slang.

 

·        List 25 slang terms in Feed.  Write your own definitions (or synonyms) of the terms.

 

·        Interview a marketing major.  How are different projects marketed to different groups?

 

·        Research the marketing history of a major product, e.g., Coca-Cola, Tide, Calvin Klein, etc.

 

·        Research the influence of the corporate world on society.

 

·        Research Kent State, Stonewall, Watts, WTO.

 

·        Design an ad for a product.

 

Quotes:  Respond in your journal or in an essay to any of the following quotes from Feed.  Or choose a passage that impressed you and respond to it.

 

“But the braggest thing about the feed, the thing that made it really big, is that it knows everything you want and hope for, sometimes before you even know what those things are.  It can tell you how to get them, and help you make buying decisions that are hard” (40).

 

“Now that School TM is run by the corporations, it’s pretty brag, because it teaches us how the world can be used, like mainly how to use our feeds” (90).

 

“So after the movie we went right to the conceptionarium and told them, ‘We want the most beautiful boy you’ve ever made.  We want him with my nose and his dad’s eyes, and for the rest, we have this picture of DelGlacey Murdoch.’” (96).

 

It’s the end.  It’s the end of the civilization.  We’re going down…The only thing worse than the thought it may all come tumbling down is the thought that we may go on like this forever” (154).

 

“Can I tell you what I see?  Can I tell you?  We are hovering in the air while people are starving.  This is obvious!  Obvious!  We’re playing games, and our skin is falling off.  We’re losing it, and we’re making out.  And you’re talking—you’re starting to talk in a fucking sestina!  Okay?  A sestina!  Okay?  Stop it!  Fuck you!  We’ve got to all stop it!”  She was screaming…”Look at us!  You don’t have the feed!  You are feed!  You’re feed!  You’re being eaten!  You’re raised for food!  Look at what you’ve made yourselves!”  She pointed at Quendy, and went, “She’s a monster!  A monster!  Covered with cuts!  She’s a creature!” (160).