One has slipped further and further into its
One of the key ideas in MT Anderson’s “Feed” is the idea of a futuristic dystopian, or oppressive/negative society, which holds many parallels with our own. He uses the destruction of nature and social values, such as family and religion, which we as a society hold so dear, as well as the destruction caused by the vast implementation of technology, and its consequences in the text, to create an ominous warning for our own society. In the novel “Feed”, much of earth’s natural environment has been destroyed, or has succumbed to the ecological turmoil caused by the rapid advance of the human race.
This re-shuffle of the natural order if things is best shown in the chapter titled “A Day in the Country,” where the characters Titus and Violet travel out to the “country. ” There they visit a steak farm, but instead of livestock, and other things brought to mind by our society’s interpretation of the term “farm,” what they encounter is a bizarre parody, with living meat growing artificially in vast “plantations. ” This just adds to the sense of urbanisation that is common to a dystopian novel. This destruction of nature is shown again while Titus’ father is recounting a recent whaling trip to the rest of his family.While whales have not been lost, they are forced to be encased in a synthetic form of protection, as the seas have been rendered highly toxic by many years of heavy pollution. In scenes like these, MT Anderson shows us a very debased, and in many ways artificial society.
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With the loss of anything natural and good, “Feed’s” society has slipped further and further into its own degraded, synthetic nightmare, but what is worse, is that MT Anderson has intended this is a portrayal of our own society in the future if we do not change our ways, which adds intrigue and interest to the text.This is shown again in the devaluation and destruction of social values, whether they be emotional, physical or spirtual. In the image of the future that “Feed’ provides, societies of Earth, especially the USA in which the book set, society has degraded. There is immense pressure to conform, and free-thinking is openly discouraged (via corporte control and censorship). This is shown very well in the novel when two of the characters, Quendy and Loga go off to the bathroom to change their hair: “.
..Quendy and Loga went off to the bathroom because hairstyles had changed… ” This also shows the extreme sense of oppressive conformity felt by all the characters of the novel, and indeed “Feed’s” society. Also, this same society do not value familial links, or hold any kind of religious beliefs, and blindly believe what they are told.
They shun actual human contact, instead choosing to supplement much of their need for socialisation with the digital “m-chat” provided by the feed chips inserted into their brains.The result of this degradation is a society almost totally devoid of emotional attachment as the human race becomes more and more like the computers and emotionless technology they strive to perfect. Again, MT Anderson has intended this haunting aspect of “Feed’s” society as a warning to our own society. This aspect however, makes the text more interesting, as it is also a grim parody, but one we as a society should take notice of, as it, or something very like it, could very easily be our own future if we do not heed Anderson’s satirical warning, and no longer be a work of fiction.Along with the damage caused by the encroachment of the “M-chat” on “Feed’s” society, the advancement of humankind has spawned a plethora of other technologies, which are used in vast numbers, and many of which have become damaging in some way, whether that damage be social, like that of the “M-Chat,” or, indeed the “Feed” itself, economic, or in some disturbing cases provided in the text, physical. “Feed’s” society is a futuristic representation of the human race, and as such, they have far advanced technology, and far-advanced issues caused by that technology, most visible of which is the enormous amount of pollution.
This is shown many times in the book, for instance the aforementioned scenario with the whales, and when the character Violet’s Father says to Titus: “We Americans… are only interested in the consumption of our products.
We have no interest in what happens to them- he pointed to his daughter -what happens to them once we discard them, once we throw them away. ” This shows the apathy the people in “Feed” feel towards the sustainability of their environment. This just adds to the feeling of both oppression and depression often portrayed in a dystopian novel.This damage caused by technology is shown again in the form of Lesions, or sores, on the skin of characters. While it is never actually explained what exactly has caused this outbreak in the text, it is broadly attributed to as the price of the advancement of technology. This could mean that it was caused by such things as radiation, pollution, or possibly some kind of deficiency in their genetically engineered food, but regardless of the reason, the lesions physically portray the metaphorically diseased aspect of “Feed’s” society.This allows MT Anderson to more effectively show the dystopia of “Feed,” and adds interest in the form of believability to the text.
In conclusion, one of the key ideas that I found interesting in MT Anderson’s “Feed,” is the idea of a dystopian society, and I believe that this was interesting in the text, because it helped portray the most negative aspects of our modern society in a contrasting, yet utterly believeable way.The idea and various aspects of a dystopia was shown at various points in the text, through issues such as the devastation of much of Earth’s natural environment, and society’s loss of touch with the environment and the natural world, as they strive to do such things as “plant’ crops of genetically engineered beef, and preserve the oceans whales, even in a highly toxic habitat. A dystopia was shown again in the devaluation of social values, as people become more and more like the machines we build.Finally it was shown in the problems caused in the text by this vast implementation of technology, and how it physically illustrates the far- less tangible problems of the human race. The idea of a dystopia shows that“Feed’s” very obvious, and reviling issues are shown so vividly for the purpose of providing a warning for our own society of the slow, impending doom awaiting us if we do not change our ways. I believe we should heed MT Anderson’s warning, if we don’t, we could end up losing all that we hold dear in our lives today.