The Circle is not perfect blog post #2

“You know what I think, Mae? I think you think that sitting at your desk, frowning and smiling somehow makes you think you’re actually living some fascinating life. Your comment on things, and that substitutes for doing them. You look at pictures of Nepal, push a smile button, and you think that’s the same as going there. I mean, what would happen if you actually went? Your Circle Jerk ratings or whatever-the-fuck would drop below an acceptable level! Mar, do you realize how incredibly boring you’ve become? ” P.263

Dave Egger’s The Circle

The passage I picked is that Mercer responds to Mae’s irony about his chandelier things. Dave Eggers created the character of Mae’s ex-boyfriend, Mercer, probably the only antagonist of Mae. Mercer is one of the most important characters in this novel. Since Mae entered the Circle, there is no resistance for her to working in the company until she back to home and Mercer came out. This part is definitely a transition of the novel. It provides contextual information for the remainder of the novel. By creating the character Mercer, he exposed the complicated personality aspect of Mae. Even though she didn’t like poor Mercer, she thought she could afford to be generous toward him. Because she entered the most powerful technology company The Circle, but Mercer was still working on his small business. Mae posted the photo of Mercer’s chandelier online, trying to help him to get business and sharing the awesome artwork with others. But Mercer hated the Circle system which had Mae crazy about posting and messaging, and the post ruined the nice dinner. Mercer didn’t understand why Mae doing this. Whereas Mae was used to it in the Circle, post photo and share it through the social media. Then they quarreled and left on bad terms and later Mae got involved in the kayak issue.

There are a number of rhetorical questions in their conversation. They are not only simply asked for effect which indicate Mae and Mercer think too differently but also to make us think a litter bit harder about The Circle. Mae had lost herself after her entered the most powerful technology company. Mae thought that The Circle is perfect and people outside The Circle desire to work inside the Circle. She really enjoyed the circumstance of this company. However, Mercer have a different view of The Circle, it is a utopian dream which far beyond the range of possibility.

I think the conversation of this part let people ponder deeply over. I was absolutely convinced that people in The Circle are much less interesting than they used to be. Are they doing anything interesting anymore with the Circle system? They attended activity and signed up various organizations, and they sitting at their desk, comment on things. They are motivated to do so because of the participation rank. In fact, these sounds like our daily life when we sitting at the desk push the like button on Facebook, and sometime retweet the post of other users. Apparently we are on the edge of the danger of the technology.

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2 Responses to The Circle is not perfect blog post #2

  1. ttakoushian says:

    I love that you point out how Mercer is one of the most important characters in the book. I completely agree. Eggers needed to have a resistance to the almighty Circle, and why not be a former boyfriend? It creates an interesting dynamic between the characters because while Mercer might not always be right about Mae, he does care about her and knows who she is, or rather was. This is important because it creates a stronger resistance than if it were just her parents telling their daughter that she had a screw loose. Or a new friend. Eggers purposefully chose to have a member of Mae’s significant past life to portray an alternative side to the movement towards total transparency.


  2. elexiusmusick says:

    It’s interesting that you pick Mercer out as Mae’s antagonist. I almost feel like you could see Mercer as our protagonist, with Mae being the antagonist–we see things from her perspective, and they begin before we meet Mercer and end far after Mercer dies. “Protagonist” is definitely not synonymous with “hero,” but a lot of people would think that the two terms are interchangeable. In this story, it’s hard for me to not see Mercer as a hero and Mae as a semi-likeable villain. I agree that Mercer’s character really adds complexity to the book.

    I also agree that people are less interesting than they used to be! They’re robotic now. I looked at all the descriptions of all the employees and it’s pretty clear how flat they are as characters.


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