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Violet tells Titus that as a child, she didn’t have many of the items available on the feed but had seen shows of how “normal” people lived and wanted to be like them. They spend time at the mall, doing things that are new to Violet, like shopping underwater, often holding hands.
Titus speaks about School™, which is now run by corporations. Titus praises School™ for teaching useful things like how to find bargains, and corporations for investing in children. Meanwhile, home-schooled Violet stays truly informed and says that only seventy-three percent of Americans have feeds, and that she did not get one until she was seven. Violet adds that those who have had the feed their entire lives are ignorant and self-centered. Titus worries he is not as smart as Violet, so his mom tells him he is the son she always wanted and that she and his dad had him created in the likeness of DelGlacey Murdoch, a now forgotten actor. Titus’s parents promise to buy him an upcar for being brave throughout the hacker attack. The chapter ends with feed chatter: A representative of President Trumbull spins an intercepted chat where he called the Prime Minister of the Global Alliance a “big shithead.”
Violet joins Titus and his father as they shop for upcars, including a Dodge Gryphon and Nongen Swarp. As Titus test drives the upcars, his father chats to others and condescends to Violet when she says anything intelligent or tells Titus to resist the feed. Dodge sends Titus images of him driving women in bikinis and Nongen sends one of him and Violet driving together in the mountains. The image of Violet is accurate, Titus says, but it has larger breasts. Violet says Titus is fortunate to get a car because he was hacked, which prompts a discussion about whether he is entitled, though Titus insists the gift is justified, given that he must go to court. Violet then tells him they won’t be going to court, and that the police beat the hacker to death. Titus has no response and decides to buy the Dodge.
At Titus’s home, Titus and Violet talk about taking his upcar to a forest called Jefferson Park, but Titus’s father says it has been replaced with an air factory. Violet is outraged, but Titus’s father argues that factories produce more oxygen than trees. Titus fights with his parents for not telling him about the hacker’s death as Smell Factor repeats the song refrain, “Intercrural or oral! Ain’t a question of moral!” Titus’s father believes Titus is being disrespectful, then throws the disposable dishes away. Violet freezes at the table, also disposable, and says her foot is asleep, but then chats Titus that her body is failing since the hack. Titus drives Violet home, and though he asks if she is okay, is mainly concerned that his new Dodge doesn’t handle as well as the Swarp. The chapter ends with a song on the feed about love, hope, and faith.
Titus drives his upcar to Violet’s home. Her neighborhood is poor, and its houses aren’t contained in individual pods that produce their own weather like they do in the suburbs’ higher levels. Titus is surprised that her home is filled with books. Her father wears an early model feedscanner carried in a backpack along with glasses with screens. His language confuses Titus. Violet explains that he speaks in a complex manner so his words can’t be simplified. Violet says her parents never married, and that her mother is absent and likely living in South America.
The chapter “a new place” picks up a thread from a previous chapter, “lose the chemise,” concerning Violet’s socioeconomic status. In the latter, Violet finally reveals why her father didn’t visit her while she was in the lunar hospital: It wasn’t because he was too busy, as she previously stated, but because her family didn’t have enough money. As a result, Titus says in “a new place,” Violet didn’t grow up with many of the items that are available on the feed. Her father, who is aware of the harms rampant consumerism can cause, would also simply refuse to purchase them. Readers get an additional glimpse into Violet’s socioeconomic status in “observe the remarkable verdure,” when she finally allows Titus to visit her home. As Titus drives his new Dodge Gryphon there, he sees that her neighborhood is at the lower level of stacked suburbs. He is surprised to see ground-level streets that are cracked, and that the neighborhood’s houses, unlike in his own, aren’t contained in individual pods that control their own weather.
The scenes reveal significant differences between Titus and Violet while shedding light on how their society is stratified by economic status. Titus, who has lived a privileged upper-class life since birth, has also largely lived in the dark concerning the world’s problems. Conversely, Violet knows what it is like to live without means, and her experience informs her knowledge that others in the world are suffering and fuels her empathy for them. The chasm between the two characters’ upbringing and attributes expands in “the dimples of delglacey.”
Titus, likely repeating propaganda he’s been fed, praises corporate-run School™ for teaching useful things like how to find bargains. Violet, on the other hand, has been home-schooled and stays informed about the world’s problems. She also reveals that, unlike Titus who had his feed implanted at birth, she didn’t receive hers until she was seven. Those who have lived with feeds their entire lives, she says, are selfish, live in the dark, and only care about consuming. Titus and Violet’s varying worldviews are also a product of their upbringings: Much of Violet’s wisdom and knowledge, and her recent determination to resist the feed, stem from her father’s decisions to keep her informed and not flood her with material possessions. Titus’s parents, on the other hand, don’t speak to him about the hack on the moon, and instead decide to buy him a new upcar to ease his troubles.
In “lift,” “a question of moral,” and “observe the remarkable verdure,” readers learn more about both characters’ fathers, and how their parenting styles influence their children. In “lift,” Titus’s father chats to others as his son test drives upcars and condescends to Violet when she speaks intelligently. And in “a question of moral” he scoffs at her concerns about the environment. Like so many people around him, Titus’s father’s dependence on the feed has made him detached. What’s more, he’s either been brainwashed by corporate entities, or simply doesn’t care about the Earth. Either way, his detachment and apathy have clearly affected Titus. Even as Titus’s human connection to Violet grows, revealed by their hand holding in “a new place” that follows their hand holding during their hacks and when their feeds returned, Titus remains distant and apathetic. After he sees Violet’s health falter in “a question of moral,” for example, he is more concerned that he might have bought the wrong upcar than for her wellbeing.
Violet’s father couldn’t be more different from Titus’s father. He is intelligent, informed, and cares about preserving what those around him so easily discard, especially languages. He is also emotionally connected with Violet, concerned about the damage her feed can cause, and likely the source by which she learned that the hacker was killed. Violet’s father also appears to have disdain for Titus and what he represents. In his complex way of speaking, he mocks Titus and his new Dodge Gryphon while, with his hand, acting out Titus’s upcoming flight to see the country.