The structure of Dave Eggers’ The Circle is largely chronological, following Mae’s perspective from the moment she starts working at The Circle until the moment when she becomes completely indoctrinated by its ideas. The novel does not contain any chapter divides, perhaps reflecting the relentlessness of Mae’s experiences working at The Circle.
The novel is divided into three books. The first book shows Mae finding her feet at The Circle and getting to grips with the company’s requirements for being at the office almost permanently and posting everything on social media.
When the second book begins, Mae has gone transparent, broadcasting every moment of her life to a huge number of viewers. This marks a new phase of Mae’s career and life, defined by the fact that strangers are constantly watching her. In the second book, Mae’s doubts about The Circle disappear even as the problems with the company become clearer to readers.
The third book is very short; it reveals that when Ty asked her to try to stop “Completion”, she instead reported him to Bailey, Stenton, and the world. Mae now completely believes in The Circle and is no longer capable of thinking for herself.
The narrative also includes examples of flashbacks. For example, Mae looks back at her previous job at a utilities company and compares it to The Circle: “She’d been the youngest person in the building by a decade of so, and even those in their thirties were of a dif...