Feed is obviously different from all the books we have read thus far. It is an imaginative world, but one that could be a realistic future in America. I didn’t understand many of the things going on in the novel and the crude grammar didn’t help the understanding. But, amid the confusion and the strange context, I thought the parents are very irresponsible and showed a lack of involvement and attention to their children. They are giving Titus too much freedom and too much money to spend at his own discretion. They are spoiling him by buying a car as consolation for his attack on the moon. As in Coraline, the parents are giving the child everything like the fake parents on the other side of the door. Instead of taking a time to teach life lessons, they only knew to push Titus further down the “materialistic” path: buy more, feel better and let me live my life. This is a dysfunctional family system where the strongest connection is the internet. Comparatively, in other books such as Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and in Charlotte’s Web, parents played an important role in the children’s lives. They were there for the children. Their thoughts were filled with their child(ren). For example, in Where, Ma and Ba’s thoughts revolved around Minli, the center of their lives. Their thoughts are constantly on her and making sure that she is fed, warm and happy. But at the same time, Minli is still working in the fields. Her parents have taught her that reward comes with effort (rice only comes from sweat and back breaking work). And Minli never got all that she wanted. She doesn’t have material goods. Happiness was simple and family was the most important. As also displayed in Charlotte’s, family is one the central themes. A cohesive family is not only portrayed in Fern’s family but also among the animals. For example, the goose spends an intensive period of keeping her eggs warm. It is her effort and direct involvement which brought her children into the world. There is a bond formed even before the eggs hatched. This bond is also formed when Mrs. Arable carried Fern for 9 months. This is vastly different from the “conceptionarium”, where children are brought into the world mechanically, without the presence of their parents. Even the way Titus and his parent interacted seemed friend-like rather than parent to son conversation. In Feed, family is much more artificial and less and less like a family than in children’s books. Perhaps, this is a distinction between children’s and young adult literature: family is not as important as external social relationships in this period of a “children’s” growth. Family may be depicted as the background and an inessential part of the development as children advance to young adulthood.

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