What do clouds symbolize in the novel Feed by M.T. Anderson?

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charsteph88 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the main topics covered in the book Feed is that of consumerism and its effect on the population. In the book, there are many everyday objects, including things which occur in nature, that have been trademarked by corporations. Clouds are one of those things. The point of this is to show the extent to which consumerism can be taken, and the power that is being rapidly gained by large corporations. At first, it might seem ridiculous to trademark clouds, but if we look deeper, we see the implications of doing so.

People in this dystopian society have become so disconnected from the natural world that they see everything as a commodity, and in fact, everything has become a commodity, to the extent that they cannot imagine a world where one can enjoy these things for free, simply because they exist naturally in the environment. It really symbolizes the lack of political interest and awareness that people are beginning to exhibit. Not only that, but it symbolizes the lack of awareness that people have for the dangerous outcome of their constant indoctrination into this consumerist mindset. They are becoming insensitive to the environmental decline that is going on around them, which ultimately leads to a total obliviousness of the state of the natural world.