Mae Holland, working at the world’s top corporation is faced with pressures that require her to give up intimate relationships, and all means of privacy. The monster company integrates all identities into one account, “TruYou”. Mae’s fascination and muse for the company causes her to lose sight of the future ahead of her. Her beginnings at a small, unknown utility company highlight the Circle to be the ideal job.
Bailey one of the 3 Wise men at the Circle generates the idea of SeeChange, which allows for everything to be caught on video cameras. He deems this as the “Second Enlightenment,” where everything in the world will be known. The Wise men’s philosophy centers around three main points, “sharing is caring, privacy is theft, and secrets are lies.” These examples show the degradation of privacy. Mae willingly complies to all the three key ideas, she looks at the company to be the best, and wants to be a part of it. She desperately wants to fit into the community, and to do this she must obey to transparency. It is evident, however, that through the process her human emotions get in the way. She wants to be accepted, but this means she must sacrifice what she truly values.
As Mae is challenged to document her every move on camera, she is caught making mistakes. Particularly when she visits her parents and Mercer. Her intimate relationships become fake; they begin to lose their real nature. Mercer and Mae are caught fighting on multiple occasions over the social change that Mae is promoting. Mercer says to Mae, “It’s not that I’m not social. I’m social enough…No one needs the level of contact you’re purveying. It improves nothing. It’s not nourishing…your company is scanning all of our messages.” His argument to Mae did not even impact her emotion, she just showed a greater detest toward Mercer, “Mae looked at his fat face…He seemed to be developing jowls…No wonder snack food was on his mind,” this highlights Mae’s cruel nature toward an intimate relationship she once valued. Her infatuation with the Circle has brainwashed her ability to see that Mercer is right. The media that the Circle is generating, and the lack of private communication is ridiculous and unnecessary. Annie and Mae’s intimate friendship is also affected by the lack of privacy Mae receives. Their meetings progressively become less private. Its apparent that Mae is struggling to share what she is thinking with Annie like she once did.
The Circles attempt to take away all means of privacy corrupts the close relationships Mae shares with her parents, Mercer, and Annie. Mae is no longer able to go to her parent’s home without being watched. She even had to apologize for missing a social event when she went home to take care of her father. Dan scolded her for missing a party on Friday night, and her explanation that she had to go home to take care of her father was not acceptable. This goes to show that the lack of privacy within the Circle, will eventually ruin intimate friendships and family ties.