The main character in Dave Eggers’ novel The Circle is Mae Holland. She is a young woman who gets a job at the prestigious technology company The Circle.
Mae slowly learns to adapt to the unusual company culture that requires Circlers to attend parties and socialize to raise their social standing in the company. However, Mae also adopts the company’s ideas about sharing private matters publicly, which ends up ruining her relationship with the people around her, including her close friend Annie, who recommended her for the job at The Circle.
At The Circle, Mae also meets the “three wise men” who run the Circle, Eamon Bailey, who acts as the public face of the company, Tom Stenton, and Ty Godspodinov, who first introduces himself to Mae as an employee named Kalden. Ty tries to warn Mae against the dangerous practices of The Circle and, alongside Mae’s ex-boyfriend Mercer, he is the only person who dislikes the company. In contrast, Francis Garaventa, a Circler Mae starts a relationship with, is completed devoted to The Circle, and no longer believes in a person’s right to privacy.
Other important characters include Mae’s parents, who suffer as a result of Mae’s inconsiderate attitude and her devotion to her employer.