Novel Review Essay Example: The Circle by Dave Eggers

Published: 2022-09-05
Novel Review Essay Example: The Circle by Dave Eggers
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Character analysis American literature
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1363 words
12 min read

In the novel, 'The Circle' Eggers focuses on Mae as the main character. Mae got a new job at the circle because of her connections with Annie. Mae believes that a being at the Circle is the best opportunity that she has had in her life, a mentality that makes her willing to conform with the experience at the circle. Importantly, the exposure to the technology at the Circle makes Mae forget her own life. The exposure to technology changes Mae thinking, and it ends making her undergo significant changes in her personality. During her first Days at the circle, Mae would admire the confidence of her friend, Annie. With time Mae changes in her character ensure that she becomes a more confident person. Similarly, Mae undergoes other profound changes in her personality including changing from a kind individual to unsympathetic person. She also varies from a person with a great value for personal privacy to adopt a more transparent lifestyle.

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During her stay at the Circle, Mae undergoes a significant shift in her perspectives that ultimately affects her thinking and personality. At least Mae varies from the politely skeptical person about the circle policies. In the beginning, Mae did not receive the value the insistence on social networking. Later, she becomes an advocate of the same policies that she had earlier on opposed. Annie informs Mae that 'I will be watching you/ and every time you do something great I will be making sure that everyone knows about it (Eggers 17). The is a shift in Mae thinking from the acceptance of the notion that privacy is immoral. At least, Mae comes to terms with the belief that she should make the whole world aware of her personal life by socializing with a high number of people on the internet. The humility of Mae character is evident from her sacrifice of 'her time, brain space and energy to conform with the colleagues' demands' (Leszko 210) Mae at one time is outraged when Francis Garaventa reveals about his relationship with her. Later, Francis releases a photo of their sexual activity. Though Mae had the right to be angered about Francis actions to disclose information about their private lives, instead of reacting in outrage and resistance, Mae conforms in return.

Mae personality changes as evident from the shift from someone who values close relationships with friends and family members to an individual values money and popularity. Mae considers her distance with family members to be normal by trading her connections with close friends and family members with the 'real people,' the millions of people she interacts with on the social media platform (Furman et al. 3). In one of the Circle broadcasts a colleague announces 'Let's now Focus on the UK/ As you knew yesterday we alerted all three billion users' (Eggers 333). Mae values and the sense of what matters changes profoundly since her life on the internet changes her thinking to making her belief that virtual friends on the internet deserve her concern more than friends and family members do.

Mae variation in her personality takes the form of movement from a stern individual who disapproves of the character of the other colleagues in the Circle to an accommodating and a softer person. Mae adoption of soft skills improves her 'relations with others, and she easily gives up her beliefs and values' (Ahmed 2). Mae changes perceptions to adopt moral values based on the viewpoint of the Circle Company ideals. During the initial stages, the colleagues condemned Mae of her actions involving the failure to respond to an invitation to a party at the Circle company. A college had to take Mae through the company policies 'That's one of our slogans: Community First' (Eggers 40). Mae thought that it was weird for the colleague to be distressed of her unresponsive behavior. She also baffled with a close friend, Annie after the failure to respond to repeated texts. With time Mae decides to change from her initial tendency to spend little time on social media.

Mae gets brainwashed by her adoption of technological advances. She changes from her kind personality to an unsympathetic villain who uses the media to hurt friends. Mae studied took courses in marketing, history, and psychology but these courses did not do much in the form of shaping her sense of decency. The circle works by storing all information shared through social media to the cloud where millions of individuals can access it. Mae ends up sharing crucial information about her relationship with her ex-boyfriend Mercer after a disagreement. Mae thought that Mercer would take it lightly as 'simply demonstrating their Soul Search program...she wanted to talk to him and laugh about this together' (Eggers 339). The disclosure had significant psychological impacts on Mercer, and it caused the tragedy that led to Mercer's death.

Lack of privacy prevents Mae from developing her individuality. Privacy is a crucial part of an individual mindset since it allows an individual to work towards improving a character that one wishes to become. Apparently, 'Mae transparency was complete in that she could not turn off the visuals... there were few exceptions/One was during bathroom usage or at least time spent on the toilet (Eggers 266). Exposure of individual life to the world means that they have to adopt behaviors that please others. Personal freedom to choose healthy behaviors shrinks with exposure to social media. A similar scenario occurs to Mae who becomes quite malleable after exposure to social media. She allowed her colleagues at the Circle to mold their desired behaviors in her. The colleagues managed to change her outlook about life, sense of right to privacy, inner life and solitude. Mae believes that the Circle is the most important place to be in her life. She would not afford to lose touch with other workers in the Circle.

For Mae change in her behavior, perspectives and thinking would occur eventually either wilfully or through coercion. Mae is a tragic victim of 'manipulative peer pressure' (Mosley 219). It is possible not to hold Mae responsible for her wrongdoing. After Mae becomes extremely loyal to the circle, the followers realize the reality of the use of Mae as a pawn. The company executives at the Circle use Mae as a poster child and a tool to manipulate the whole world to accept the Circle technologies. Mae is used by the company officials to demonstrate that the Circle could bring a solution to the end of false identities, multiple usernames and identity theft. 'Annie informs Mae that 'there is another cool program we are hinting at...a system called PastPerfect/ We are currently looking for the right volunteer within the Circle to try it out' (Eggers 260). To achieve their mission, the company executives start by putting pressure on Mae to accept the company culture by adopting a fixated mindset where an individual had to seek constant validation from colleagues. The colleagues inform her that anyone who does not attend parties and events would be unclassic and that participation in colleague's lives' is vital by either smiling at colleague posts on social media, sharing ideas and activities. Afterwards, the management uses Mae life as an example of how the different applications would function in real life.

To sum up, the adaptation to work demands in technology-related fields may force an individual to undergo profound changes in personality. Individual privacy is vital to ensuring that a person is continually self-conscious. Therefore, when an individual gives up their privacy, profound personality changes are expected to result. Mae gives up working on her individuality after employment in the Circle. She gives up her morals, and she changes all aspects of her personality including her perspectives, thinking, character, and behavior.

Works Cited

Ahmed, Faheem. Soft skills and software development: A reflection from the software industry, 2015, pp. 1-5.

Eggers, Dave. The Circle. Mcsweeney's Books. 2013, pp. 4-369.

Furman, Wyndol, and Duane Buhrmester. "Perceptions of Networks of Personal Relationships." Interpersonal Development, 2017, p. 3.

Leszko, Magdalena. "Future directions in the study of personality in adulthood and older age." Gerontology, vol. 62, No. 2, 2016, pp. 210-215.

Mosley, Emma, and Sylvain Laborde. "Performing under pressure: Influence of personality-trait-like individual differences." Performance Psychology, 2016 pp. 291-314.

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