Table of contents

Style of language

The language of The Circle by Dave Eggers is mostly straightforward and accessible. The tone matches that of the main character, Mae, who is a young woman in her early twenties working in the tech world. 

The language is generally positive because it reflects Mae’s love for The Circle and the constant happiness and optimism pushed on users by The Circle. Mae considers herself to be “fueled by the knowledge that whatever hardships they had faced or would face, they were working at the center of the world and trying mightily to improve it. They had reason to feel good.” (p. 117). However, this positivity seems false or strained, because the consequences of The Circle’s tools are often negative.

The novel features invented jargon used by The Circle to describe their products, make them attractive to the population, and make them appear more acceptable. For example, their basic system is called “TruYou,” while the invasive dating service app Mae dislikes is given the childish name “LuvLuv” to make it appear less threatening. Much of the language is used to make human interactions more simplistic, meaning conversations held through The Circle often lack nuance and meaning. For example, the standard responses used to give opinions are “smile”, “frown”, and “meh”. 

Like many at The Circle, Mae becomes obsessed with her “PartiRank” or her participation ranking...

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