The Circle

The Circle Metaphors and Similes

"Non-communication in a place like the Circle was so difficult, it felt like violence." (Similie)

Eggers makes a number of connections between technological actions and violence, demonstrating the visceral way one ties their real identity to their online identity and actions.

"It's plankton-inspection time... little startups hoping the big whale - that's us - will find them tasty enough to eat." (Metaphor)

Though the Circle is also symbolically compared to a shark, this metaphor (handily spelled out for Mae by Annie) seems more benevolent and references the taking on of young entrepreneurs to work on their projects with the company.

"She found the buffet, and found it in shambles, a feast raided by animals or Vikings..." (Metaphor)

Mae is dazzled by her first party at the Circle, which is described as a kind of organized chaos. However, this metaphor makes it clear that employees at the Circle can be messy and wasteful, in stark juxtaposition against the manicured background of the campus.

"Which of them had pushed that frown button, each push of that button the pull of a trigger... she felt full of holes as if every one of them had shot her, from behind, cowards filling her with holes." (Metaphor/Simile)

Again, Eggers links online interaction and violence even more viscerally. When 3 percent of people frown at Mae in the 4th question of the Demoxie trial, she takes it very poorly, likely because she has so enmeshed her real identity with her online identity and her position at the Circle.

"He tilted his head, like a traveler puzzling out some odd local customs." (Similie)

Kalden seems perpetually curious and yet extremely guarded in his conversations with Mae, as if trying to assess her as much as possible while allowing her to do the same as little as possible. This is perhaps because he is trying to get a reading on whether she is the right person to ask to act out and stop Completion.