Fen: McDonald’s. I know they made food but what it like? I always been wanting to try a Big Mac.
Daniel: Do you have cows down there?
Fen: My tribe don’t, but I hear some tribes do.
Daniel: So you’ve never had beef?
Fen: Just seafood and wild pig. What beef taste like?
Daniel: I don’t know how to describe it. Different from pork, but more like pork than fish. But a Big Mac is kind of its own thing. Sweet and hot, with two patties of ground meat, two slices of cheese and this sauce that’s supposed to be special…” (Smith, 165-166)
In this passage, Fen and Daniel saw a spotter on a McDonalds. Afterwards, Fen asks the man in the biohazard suit what the restaurant serves and what a Big Mac tastes like. This surprises David, for he asks if she has cows. Fen replies by saying no, but other tribes do. She asks David what beef tastes like but the latter is unable to describe the taste.
Fen knows that McDonald’s made food but doesn’t know what a Big Mac tastes like. She asks Daniel what beef tastes like but the man only replies by saying “different from pork, but more like pork than fish” (Smith, 166). The fact that he knows the taste but cannot describe it reveals a communications barrier between people in the Delta and the Outer States. It is akin to teaching a blind man what colors are. Also, Fen wonders what a Big Mac is like and the man in the suit gives a visual description. In the Outer States, people can use the Internet to look up what a Big Mac looks like but the Delta Region is lacking in computers. Daniel’s answer not only reveals the lack of things taken for granted in the Delta but also a lack of communications between the two areas.
Fen states that although her tribe doesn’t have cattle, she “hear (s) some tribes do” (Smith, 165). She also mentions that she only consumed “seafood and wild pig” (Smith, 166). These quotes reveal that the scattered tribes around the Delta don’t all have the same resources. It implies that they aren’t willing to trade with each other, for tribes with cattle could trade with Fen’s but do not do so, as Fen has never tasted beef. It also reveals that communications between the tribes is lacking, for she has only “heard” that some tribes have cattle.