Feed Teaching Component: 245-276
by Lindsey Davies
The next day, Violet's arms stop working for an hour, and she has to be sedated.
Later Violet send him a message asking about what he thought of the weekend plans she suggested. Titus deleted the earlier messages, so he doesn't respond. He lies in his room, staring at the ceiling.
Violet makes a joke about her shortened lifespan, which annoys Titus: "I didn't think she should joke about that, because you just don't joke about your life. Especially because it can make people really uncomfortable, if you have something wrong with you, and you keep bringing it up in certain ways" (Anderson 259).
Violet talks about her plans to make the most of the time she has left. At first Titus says he's to busy to go with her, and Violet is angry. Everything is very tense, and Violet convinces Titus to come to the mountains. They pack his clothes and leave. In the upcar Violet asks about the chat messages again, and he lies again. Violet mentions that she dreams of being to live without the feed. Apparently Nina suggested something to Violet that she actually enjoyed, which upsets her.
"I didn't sign up to go out with you forever when you're dead. It's been a couple of months Okay? A couple months" (Anderson 72).
Violet accuses Titus of not knowing nothing about what is going in the rest of the world, or why the lesions happen. They leave the hotel, sniping at each other the whole time. They say nothing in the upcar. Violet is crying, and her hand isn't working. The car ride is long. Titus gets a banner about a sale and buys something, surreptitiously in case Violet is tracking his feed. Violet's dad has to help her out of the car. Titus leaves.
As the chapter ends, Titus says, "It was only months later that I realized that the last thing I ever heard her mouth say, the last words she would speak to me, had already been spoken, and they were, 'Oh, shit'" (Anderson 275).
- Titus's treatment of Violet is, in general, a bit problematic. He treats her more like a novelty mixed with a sex object, rather than like a human being.
- Titus gets annoyed when Violet is not constantly showing him attention. "I started to want her to grab my hand so much that I put it on the grass right next to her hip. She kept talking about Diatribe on tour. It was like we weren't going out" (Anderson 250). Note: Titus refuses to be the one to initiate the physical contact he wants. Talk about passive-agressive.
- He is manipulative, lying to Violet despite the emotional consequences. Ex: deleting the messages and telling her he never got them.
- "I went out to the upcar and got our bags. I liked being the man getting the bags" (Anderson 264).
- "She was crying. It made her ugly" (Anderson 274).
- A lot goes into the strife between Violet and Titus, but one of the main contributors is the fact that they come from two different classes/worlds.
- To Titus, Violet and her way of life are very foreign to him, and therefore interesting. That's part of why he was interested in her in the first place.
- To a certain extent, Violet uses Titus as a chance to be normal. "I went to the moon during spring break to see how people live. When you [Titus] came along, I thought, 'Now I'll have a boyfriend, like people have boyfriends.' Other people just have fun...and it comes naturally to them...Then we were in the hospital. They took me away from you and told me, 'you feed is damaged. There's danger it might be life-threatening.' And I came down, and took you away, and kissed you. And the whole time I was thinking, Now I'm living. I have someone with me. I'm not alone. I'm living" (Anderson 269-270).
- When they leave the hotel, after they both know everything is over, there comes the issue of paying for the room: "Don't worry, darling. I have like all the money in the world" (Anderson 273).
- Both accuse each other of not unservtanded the issues the other cares about, the struggles they go through.
In what ways does the book question the psychology of consumerism?
- Titus on the ride home with Violet: she is crying next to him, they've just had a huge argument, they're probably broken up—and yet, when he gets a commercial banner during the ride, he actually buys something.
Additionally, he comments on how the constant bombardment from advertising can be oppressive:
- Titus's wall decorations are done with "hotspots" on the wall, so he will see a poster when he looks at a certain place. When he is feeling overwhelmed in these chapters, he shuts them off and lies in his room, just staring at the ceiling.
After you read, go back to page 190 (?) and reread the section where Violet's father claims, "We Americans...are interested only in the consumption of products. We have no interest in how they were produced, or what happens to them...once we discard them, once we throw them away." What happens when we discard them?
Can we ever get rid of something, once we've had it?
- How does that relate to Titus and Violet?
- How does that relate to commercialism?
Why do we get rid of things?
Is Violet's father right? Do we really not care about anything but the end result?