The Christian Allusions In Dave Eggers’ Novel, The Circle


Write an essay of 750-1,000 words (3-4 double spaced pages.)In MLA format, write an essay about Dave Eggers’ novel, The Circle. Remember to include a thesis statement near the end of your introductory paragraph, and that your thesis should be the answer to an implied question, the solution to a problem, or the resolution to a paradox about a topic in the text.

This is not a book report, so do not summarize the text unless you are providing context for your reader. Also remember that even though you are required to write about one of the topics presented below, you do not necessarily need to answer every single question posed about those topics; they are there just to get you thinking in a certain direction, but if you decide to go another way, then that’s fine, but you must stick to the topic! For this project you must include a Works Cited Page, which should consist of at least one entry: The Circle.

1) There are many allusions to communism in The Circle, from the “Gang of 40,” to the inherent structure of the organization. In both systems, a small group of people seek to gain power and control over the masses. What is the point of this allusion? Is there anything ironic here? In the past, communist regimes have been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions of people; could The Circle’s policies and power lead to similar results? How?

2) In class, we discussed the term “gamification.” How does this concept apply to The Circle? Is gamification generally a good thing or a bad thing? How does it operate in the text? Is Mae’s life better or worse because of it? What are some benefits to gamification? What are some detriments? Is Mae’s life becoming objectified through gamification, or is gamification simply a new way to encourage her to do better work and live a better life?

3)In class, we discussed the term “panopticism” and consulted Michael Foucault’s essay about its effects on human behaviour. How does panopticism affect Mae’s behaviour? Does she behave differently when she knows she’s being watched? Why? Is this concept not the basis of the concept of God (an omnipotent observer and judge), or is that too far of a stretch? What effects does panopticism have on Mae’s morality? At what point does it become a bad thing?

4) Discuss the Christian allusions in The Circle. There are quite a few, some of which are more prominent and meaningful than others. Allusion in itself has no meaning except for the connection being made between the primary text and the alluded text. What are the Christian allusions in The Circle pointing to? What is their significance?

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