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The Night Circus
Transcript of The Night Circus
By: Erin Morgenstern
Published 2011 Summary Quote Quote Interpretation Character Analysis: Celia Bowen Literature Evaluation Literary Elements Point of View Under the mask of an enchanting circus, two rival magicians pit their young apprentices against one another in a fight to the death. Celia and Marco assume the roles of these apprentices, unaware to whom their opponent is . They both secure a presence in Le Cirque des Reves, which acts as the grounds of the competition.. Soon after becoming acquainted, they end up falling in love. They must then figure out how to end the duel without ending the circus itself. " "Ah," Remarked one of the guests when the topic arose. "You prefer to not see the gears of the clock, as to better tell the time." " (-Morgenstern, 71) This novel definitely became one of my new favorites. It is extremely well written. The imagery is absolutely gorgeous , you can perfectly see the circus and everything it has to offer. The characters were pretty interesting as well. Because it changed perspectives frequently, you never became bored with one characters story. The only criticism i have on the book is that the build up is ridiculously long. The main plot doesn't really start to go into motion until about half way through the book.You don't really mind though because, it is really fluently written . Celia assumes the role of the main, female protagonist in this novel. She portrays a very strong character, that doesn't waver from her path and stays a step ahead. In contrast, she also follows a code of her own silent honor and respect. I appreciated that her character wasn't helpless in this book and that she was able to change her circumstances. The novel actually alternates between two point of views. Third person omniscient serves as the main point of view. However, every five chapters or so, there is an excerpt that is supposed to be directed toward the audience as if they were actually visiting the circus. You cannot tell the time by examining the gears of a clock but if you step back you can read the clock This quote suggests that understanding is based upon perspective. I admire this quote becasue the further in depth you get into the book, the more it is prominent of how interconnected everything in the circus actually is. "Leaning to your left to gain a better view, you can see that the sign reads:
Le Cirque des Reves "
(-Morgenstern, 6) Setting The book jumps to various locations around the world. The time period is set to start in the late 1800s and continues over the course of thirty years up until 1903. The circus always remains the center of the setting, with occasional visits to other locations in relation to the characters. "Every element of the circus blends together in a wonderful coalescence. Acts that have been training in separate countries on separate continents now perform in adjacent tents, each part melding seamlessly into a whole." (-Morgenstern, 119) Plot The conflict between Celia and Marco and their instructors in an attempt to end or quit the competition arises as the main plot in the novel. They struggle to balance sustaining the circus while figuring out how to untangle themselves from the competition . But since the circus itself has spawned from the competition, it makes for a interesting plot. " "I am done playing your game, " Marco says. "I quit." " You cannot quit.," His instructor replies. "You are bund to this. To her. The challenge will continue. One of you will lose. You have no choice in the matter." " (-Morgenstern, 308) Symbolism The bonfire serves as the "life-source" per say, for the circus. The fire in it is never put out and it always maintains the flame. "The bonfire never goes out. The flames never falter. Even when the circus moves it is not extinguished, moved intact from location to location. Smoldering the entire length of each train journey, safely contained in its iron cauldron. It has burned steadily since the ceremonious lighting on opening night."
(-Morgenstern, 162) Imagery I would say that the imagery in this story is the most fantastic component of the novel. Morgenstern does an impeccable job at creating the circus and every aspect of it. She also goes into great depth on each tent, which makes you want to visit it all the more. "Inside, the tent is dark, the ceiling covered with open black umbrellas, the curving handles hanging down like icicles. In the center of the room there is a pool. A pond enclosed withing a black stone wall that is surrounded by white gravel. The air carries the salty tinge of the ocean. you walk over to the edge to look inside. The gravel crunches beneath your feet. It is shallow, but it is glowing. A shimmering, shifting light cascades up through the surface of the water.A soft radiance, enough to illuminate the pool and the stones that sit at the bottom." (-Morgenstern, 376) Mood This novel creates and overall dark but enchanting mood. At times it is lighter than others . "The snakes move back and forth together in motions resembling a strikingly formal dance. Elegant and graceful. the music increases in tempo, and now there is somthing harsher about the way the snakes move.Waltz morphs into battle. They circle each other and you watch for one or the other to strike."