Blog Post 2, Utopia or Dystopia?

Mercer, our first look into an actual voiced opinion of someone who does not trust or like the circle. This varies from what we have heard before, which was a second hand story told by workers of the Circle talking about the great victories they had over their doubters. Mercer claims the rise of a cult, but to what extent can he make this crazy accusation. Is Mercer the first one to see that the human race is heading towards a dystopia rather than a utopia?

“Mae, I’ve never felt more that there is some cult taking ove the world. You know what someone tried to sell me the other day? Actually, I bet its somehow affiliated with the Circle. Have you heard of Homie? The thing where your phone scans your house for the bar code of every product—” (Pg 260)

According to Martin Heidegger in The Question Concerning Technology people and material goods are just part of a overall standing reserve. In my opinion Mercer sees this and is trying to avoid becoming a resource and focuses more on being a human being that is not affected by the rising influence of transparency and control by the Circle.

With the distance Mercer is trying to put between him and the Circle, it seems clear to me that Eggers is setting him up to be highly influenced by the Circle at some point in the future of the book or that he will highly influence the Circle. I believe this to be so because of his aggressive dislike of the Circle. With that dislike, like members in office in the country that arent abherring to transparency, the Circle pressures him to join at his will, be casted out of the blooming “utopia,” or to join through indirect force of the public influence on society. The societys acceptance of the Circle only pressures the opposition to disappear or join.

Like I said earlier this is one of the first time we actually see someone directly opposing the Circle and how a person within the Circle reacts. It is very important to note how Mae reacts and why Eggers had her react in that way. She, as I’d imagine all Circlers would do, aggresively respond telling him he is wrong and how great, powerful, and influential the Circle is. God forbid Mae hears an opinion other than that which has been drilled into her head over her time working at the Circle. I believe Eggers had Mae react in this way because he wants to further show the influential control the Circle has over most workers and or people associated with it.

Though it does not seem true at the surface, I find that Mercer is afraid of history repeating itself as a monopoly starts to take over the country. It almost seems, in my opinion, that for Eggers, monopoly and cult can almost be used as synonyms. He references the dominating force the Circle has become time and time again throughout the book making it seem that at some point, some entity, will make the monopoly tumble or bring the society back to the time before the monopoly or cult took over. I believe that Mercer has become through his opposition to the Circle, their biggest threat of re-humanizing the world with no more influence by the Circle.

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2 Responses to Blog Post 2, Utopia or Dystopia?

  1. I do absolutely believe that Mercer is the main “antagonist” in The Circle. Although…I don’t think he’s actually a threat to them at all. Even when he writes his letter to Mae and her viewers (his biggest act of defiance that I’ve read so far), it’s clearly shown that it has no effect at all on Mae, her followers, or The Circle. I think that he is set up to be the dissonant voice, the potential “saving grace,” but I also believe that Eggers intentionally makes his “fight” absolutely fruitless.

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  2. pittpanther8 says:

    I completely agree with what both you and littleblonderussian have to say about Mercer being the main antagonist. He not only ideologically opposed to the Circle, but he physically tries to live his life off the grid. If it’s one thing the Circle is, then it’s something he isn’t. Although there are probably plenty more people like Mercer, it seems like it’s him against the world and unfortunately he doesn’t have a chance.

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