The Circle (Mae goes transparent)

Brief description

Mae "goes transparent", carrying a streaming camera around her neck all day every day.

Pull Quotes

She was apprised by Stewart that when thousands, or even millions, are watching, you perform your best self. You are cheerier, more positive, more polite, more generous, more inquisitive. But he had not told her of the smaller, improving alterations to her behavior. The first time the camera redirected her actions was when she went to the kitchen for something to eat. The image on her wrist showed the interior of the refrigerator as she scanned for a snack. Normally, she would have grabbed a chilled brownie, but seeing the image of her hand reaching for it, and seeing what everyone else would be seeing, she pulled back. She closed the fridge, and from the bowl on the counter, she selected a packet of almonds, and left the kitchen. Later that day, a headache appeared—caused, she thought, by eating less chocolate than usual. She reached into her bag, where she kept a few single-serving aspirin packets, but again, on her screen, she saw what everyone was seeing. She saw a hand searching her bag, clawing, and instantly she felt desperate and wretched, like some kind of pill-popping addict. She did without. Every day she’d done without things she didn’t want to want. Things she didn’t need. She’d given up soda, energy drinks, processed foods. At Circle social events, she nursed one drink only, and tried each time to leave it unfinished. Anything immoderate would provoke a flurry of zings of concern, so she stayed within the bounds of moderation. And she found it freeing. She was liberated from bad behavior. She was liberated from doing things she didn’t want to be doing, eating and drinking things that did her no good. Since she’d gone transparent, she’d become more noble. People called her a role model. Mothers said their daughters looked up to her, and this gave her more a feeling of responsibility, and that feeling of responsibility—to the Circlers, to their clients and partners, to the youth who saw inspiration in her—kept her grounded and fueled her days.

Dave Eggers, The Circle, pg. 286, loc. 4379-4393. Kindle Edition


Work that the situation appears in

Title Publication Type Year Creator
The Circle Narrative, Movie James Ponsoldt
Who does what?
Machine P.O.V
Not machine P.O.V.

Authored by