Setting

Time period

Dave Eggers’ novel The Circle is set in a dystopian future. It is implied that the setting is a not-so-distant possible future for our own world. The narrative begins “on a sunny Monday in June” (p. 2), when Mae Holland arrives at The Circle for her first day at her new job. The subsequent events unfold over the course of a few months. 

The futuristic setting is primarily marked by technological advancements compared to today’s society, and even more so when compared to 2013 when the book was published. Examples of this are the 24/7 wearable live streaming cameras called SeeChange or the tracking chips implanted in people’s bodies called TruYouth. At the same time, the fact that these technologies are things that we can envision being able to create in the near future point to the idea that the dystopian future presented in The Circle could be a possible future for us too.

Physical setting

The events take place in California. The most important setting is The Circle’s offices, which they call “the campus”. This name –...

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