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The Circle

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Nelli Giesbrecht

on 4 October 2017

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Transcript of The Circle

1. basic facts
2. layout
3. plot, setting, suspense
4. characters
5. characteristics of utopian and dystopian elements
6. taste of the novel
7. narrative perspective
8. target group
list of contents
Not too distant future

- On the "gorgeous" Circle's Campus, in the fictional city San Vincenzo, San Francisco Bay Area

What happens?
- Mae Holland is hired by ''the Circle'', world's most powerful internet company, controls everything
- Mae, who is paralyzed by all the modernity and wealth, totally convinced of the company's vision, no matter what others try to tell her
- becomes totally transparent, grows more distant to her old reality and relationships beyond the campus

How suspense is created?
- 3 climaxes, during the novel
- foreshadowing
- naive and distant main character
- conflicts
- surprising plot twists
- withhold of information

3. Plot, Setting and Suspense in the Circle
book cover



6. A taste of the novel
The Circle
Arthur, Luca M., Luca E., Lars, Lea, Hannah, Celina, Nelli
4. Characters
6. A taste of the novel - Trailer
Mercer, p.263
" I think you think that sitting at your desk, frowning and smiling somehow makes you think you're actually living some fascinating life. You look at pictures of Nepal, push a smile button, and you think that's the same as going there. I mean, what would happen if you actually went? Your Circle Jerk ratings or whatever-the-fuck would drop below an acceptable level!"
6. A taste of the novel
Maebelline Holland
Three wise men:
Tom Stenton
Eamon Bailey
Ty Gospodinov
Annie Allerton
Francis Garaventa
best friends
Mae Holland
loses identity
goes transparent
manipulated, loyal
→at first likeable, later dislikeable
→thoughts at first detailed, later not anymore
→no real character
Annie Allerton
high ranking Circle member
Mae's best friend
encourages Mae to post more online
gets jealous
→neither likeable or dislikeable
Mae's ex-boyfriend
embodies analog way of living
confident, outspoken, overweight, poorly dressed → opposite of Circle employees
face-to-face contact
Tom Stenton
most flashy
hungry for power
Eamon Bailey
most prolific
best loved
close with Mae
Ty Gospodinov
computer genius
only seen via webcam
''My God, it's heaven.'' - Mae, p.1

''Better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than in the middle of some ladder you don't, right?'' - Annie, p.16
"Prescient, important and very funny" - Guardian
"Marvellous" - Economist
"Unputdownable" - The Times
"The most on-the-money satirical commentary on the early internet age. Full of clever, plausible, unnerving ideas" - Guardian
1. Basic facts
year of publication
main characters
The Circle
Dave Eggers
Mae Holland, Annie
10,99 euros
surveillance in the digital age
since september 2017
recent topic
shows where surveillance gets too much
warns people
close to reality
precised scenario
creative ideas
reader gets curious
ending is not predictable
character twists
simple language, without varieties
plot is predictable
obvious contrast of "good" an "bad" people
you can not identify with main characters
not much suspense
emotionless writing
4. Utopia vs. Dystopia

"perfect society"
perfect in respect of politics, laws, conditions
democratic, classless form of government
kind of a "dreamworld"
pessimistic vision of an utopia
focuses often on surveillance technology
society: higher classes control lower classes
suppressed individuals
manipulation, propaganda, brainwash
ideological extremists
7. Narrative perspective
third person (limited)
not simply describing Mae's thoughts and actions objectively and at a distance
→ is writing about Mae's thoughts and feelings as they were the narrator's own

the reader sees Mae's situation more clearly than she herself does
→ we can see that she is misguided

Why does Eggers do that?
it allows the author to give important information to the reader, without interrupting the flew of the story
8. Target Group
fans of utopian/dystopian novels
→ struggle between utopia and dystopia
interact a lot with social media
→ can relate to topic
make up your mind about a novel after reading it
Recommended for:
Not recommended for:
not exciting to read for action novel fans
→ slow storytelling and world building
→ great for dealing with it in class

→ the modern topic can be interesting for everyone
separated into three books
Book I : p. 1 - 304
Book II : p. 307 - 486
Book III: p. 489 - 491
2. Layout
The novel does not contain any chapters
secret affair
Mae's secret affair
nobody knows him
becomes uneasy with the Circle's rapidly rising power
wants Mae to help him undermine the Circle's plans
Full transcript