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“The Circle” by Dave Eggers Literature Analysis Essay

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Updated: Mar 23rd, 2020

In the modern globalizing world everything becomes bigger, moves closer together. The life, information and knowledge become more available, things that were out of reach before are now easy to get. Everything moves faster. Globalization in the political, economic, and cultural spheres of our life has created a massive impact and influenced the whole idea of our being. The scientists state that this process is not being artificially stimulated by people. Basically, no one is in charge of the changes that happen to our world.

Due to the inevitable process of globalization the boundaries and borders get erased or fade away. People enjoy the pleasures of the globalization and all the opportunities it brings along. At the same time, the society tries to carefully watch their own barriers and boundaries and never let them fall down. In the world of nowadays, where transparency is appreciated and emphasized too much, each individual still tries to preserve their own privacy. Being extremely fascinated about the secrets of others is a part of human nature.

Today’s mass media and the Internet have learnt to provide the audience with the fulfillment of these desires. At first, the magazines and newspapers were the main sources of gossips and information about other people’s private lives. Then the nineteen nineties put the beginning to mass production of reality shows that allowed the viewers a peek of someone else’s life.

The huge popularity of reality television has quickly affected the Internet and moved to the World Wide Web. These days anyone can become a star of their own reality show. We live in the world of generous, but very careful and hypocritical sharing, when own privacy is considered to be sacred and the privacy of others means nothing at all.

Transparency today has become a synonym of honesty and fairness. If you are not transparent, you must have something to hide. The refusal to turn your own private life inside out and tell all of your secrets is viewed as something bad and is being frowned upon.

The novel called “The Circle” written by Dave Eggers is a modern dystopia portraying the exaggerated idea of what our world could become if the rules of ultimate transparency and sharing were taken to the extreme and became social laws. In the beginning the transparent society could probably seem to be a pleasant and secure place to live in. It could feel like heaven, just as it does to Mae, when she first arrives to the Circle. Yet, very quickly the downsides of such lifestyle would start to come up.

Dave Eggers’ novel is called “The Circle” for a reason. The author makes a reference to Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy”, where the poet describes the circles of hell. The seeming pleasures that Mae appreciates so much in the beginning turn into a circle of hell for her after everything she does, thinks and feels becomes exposed, discussed, commented on and judged. This truly is a nightmare of any contemporary person.

At the same time, the people of nowadays are very fond of visiting social networks and posting information about themselves there, waiting for others to notice it, talk about it, appreciate it, evaluate it. The author of “The Circle” is determined to demonstrate the hypocrisy of the modern world to the readers. He shows that our desire to know everything and to share everything may backfire. Dave Eggers draws a world, where sharing is no longer a voluntary activity, but an obligatory occupation that cannot be avoided or escaped from.

“The Circle” is a great explanation of what will happen to the humanity, when the reality television stops being a game or an entertainment, a show that can be switched off any moment as soon as the viewer gets tired of it. “The Circle” and its main character Mae are the examples of the human life in a situation, where the whole society was put under a constant and serious control of Big Brother. The transparency in “The Circle” is taken to the extreme.

The author wants the readers to re-evaluate their desire to be exposed to the public, their wish to be spoken about. Eggers knows that today the kind of lifestyle, where every detail of people’s lives, every event is being posted online, is attractive because it reminds people of fame. The author of “The Circle” silently asks his readers if they would really want this “fame” if it was round the clock obligatory activity.

How often have we observed various celebrities become angry at paparazzi, attacking them, telling them off? Do they just put up a show or is constant transparency really a torture? These are the questions Dave Eggers skillfully raises in his novel that appeared right in time to wake up the common sense of its contemporary readers and make them think deeper of the modern social values and the way they are going.

The novel by Dave Eggers makes the readers note that everyone is happy to share the best moments of their lives, good looking pictures and successful events, at the same time, it is people’s worst nightmare to have their secrets and dark sides revealed, examined and discussed. The author contradistinguishes between the hypocritical transparency people enjoy today and the horror of the true concept of sharing every single aspect of one’s being with the publicity.

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