Ty Gospodinov

Outer characterization

In Dave Eggers’ novel The Circle, Tyson Alexander Gospodinov is the founder of The Circle and the inventor of TruYou (the online system behind The Circle’s success). He is a mysterious character and is only seen via the occasional video broadcast, leaving Eamon Bailey and Tom Stenton to run the company. 

We first learn what he looks like when Mae sees a painted portrait of him: “Ty Gospodinov, the Circle’s boy-wonder visionary, was wearing nondescript glasses and an enormous hoodie, staring leftward and smiling; he seemed to be enjoying some moment, alone, tuned into some distant frequency.” (p. 19). When Mae sees him again on a video broadcast, he looks “unshaven, and there were bags under his eyes” (p. 211)

At the end of the novel, Mae discovers that Ty has been pretending to be an employee called Kalden. When Mae first meets “Kalden” he looks completely different from the portrait of Ty: 

His eyes were dark, his face oval, and his hair was grey, almost white, but he couldn’t have been older than thirty. He was thin, sinewy, and his skinny jeans and tight long-sleeve jersey gave his silhouette the quick thick-thin brushstrokes of calligraphy. (p. 91)

Inner characterization

Ty’s public persona differs from the real him

Before Mae meets Ty in person, she believes that he is socially awkward and introverted. This is based on the image of Ty that is conveyed to the world: 

Ty realized he was, at best, socially awkward, and at worst an utter interpersonal disaster. So, just six months before the company’s IPO, he made a very wise and profitable decision: he hired the other two Wise Men, Eamon Bailey and Tom Stenton. (p. 20) 

However, when Ty pretends to be Kalden, he does not seem socially a...

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