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Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.
In Part 1, “moon,” Titus and his friends travel to the lunar surface for spring break, but Titus finds the moon is boring in part because he has visited before and because it contains many of the same things found on Earth, including restaurants. The celestial beacon that once inspired human imagination and space exploration now is irrelevant. That Titus and his friends can easily travel to the moon symbolizes how entitled they are in their upper-class lives, and how far humans have come with their technological advancements. But that it is filled with banal restaurants, tacky dance clubs, and cheap hotels also reveals how significantly humans have transformed and tarnished what was once a majestic celestial body.
In Part 2, “eden,” Titus and Violet stay in a lunar hospital after they are hacked at the Rumble Spot. During their stay, Violet shows Titus a garden or terrarium with a cracked ceiling whose plants are all dead and covered in space dust. Still, Titus and Violet are drawn to the garden where they share their first kiss there. The lunar garden symbolizes a now ruined Garden of Eden, the scene recalling the Old Testament story where Adam and Eve first lived in harmony with Nature and God but were later forced into exile after eating from the tree of knowledge. The story represents humanity’s fall from a state of bliss into a state marked by suffering and death, a state that now defines living conditions on Earth, which is ravaged by environmental destruction.
In Part 3, “utopia,” Violet, Titus, and his friends return to Earth and life returns to normal for them. For Titus’s upper-class friends and others like them, “normal” includes upcars that can fly, large homes in self-enclosed pods that control their own weather, and access to unlimited products via the feed. As the feed says to Titus in “a day in the country” while he falls to sleep, everything will be OK in his utopia. Perfect worlds don’t exist, however, and Part 3’s title is an ironic one: Just beyond Titus’s illusory paradise lies a world of human suffering, ecological disaster, and the threat of war from the Global Alliance against the corporate-controlled U.S. whose actions are destroying the planet.
In Part 4, “slumberland,” Violet’s health declines until she eventually dies, or falls into a coma. With Violet’s feed function at only 4.6 percent and her heart barely beating, Titus tells her stories, including an ancient Japanese saying about life and death, where life resembles walking across endless darkness via a bridge of dreams. What “slumberland” is, or what it symbolizes, however, is likely intentionally ambiguous and open to interpretation. It may represent that Violet has died and entered a place of endless darkness or that, though barely functioning, she’s still on that bridge. Or that the only part of her that remains now exists within the feed. “Slumberland” may also symbolize the willingness of Feed’s remaining characters to live in the dark, or even their world’s now seemingly inevitable end.