The Circle Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'The Circle' by Dave Eggers is a dystopian novel about the technology industry and one woman's attempt to navigate it. This lesson will guide classroom discussions about this book.

The Circle

The Circle by Dave Eggers is the story of a young woman who has recently been hired at a technology company. Students will connect to the protagonist who re-examines her thoughts, ideas, and values to fit in with her coworkers. Use the following discussion questions to lead class discussions about this novel.

Book One

  • Describe the Circle.
  • Who is Mae?
  • What does Mae think when she sees the embarrassing photo of herself?
  • Why does Mae start to doubt the company?
  • How does the Circle compare to Mae's previous job?
  • Describe the relationship between Annie Allerton and Mae.
  • What part does transparency play in the culture of the Circle?
  • Who are the three Wise Men of the Circle?
  • Who is Francis? What is his background?
  • What is Dream Friday?
  • Describe Mae's relationship with her parents.
  • What project is Francis working on? What positives and negatives do you see in a device like that?
  • What is Mae's impression of Kalden?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the social feeds at Mae's workstation?
  • Why does Dan call Mae into his office?
  • Why does Annie think Mae has betrayed her? What do you think happened?
  • How does Francis embarrass may at Dream Friday?
  • Why does Mae rush home? What happens during her visit?
  • Compare Mercer's beliefs about social media to Mae's.
  • Why is Mae's workload increased?
  • How does Dr. Villalobos help Mae?
  • Why do you think Mae is unable to find Kalden after the circus?
  • What does Dan want Mae to do differently at work?
  • Who are Josiah and Denise? Why are they critical of Mae?
  • How does Mae improve her PartiRank?
  • Why is Mae upset after her date with Francis? What advice does Annie give her?
  • What does Kalden show Mae?
  • What does it mean when politicians decide to go transparent?
  • Why isn't Mae completely forthcoming to Annie about Kalden?
  • According to Mercer, how has Mae changed since working at the Circle?
  • Why does Eamon Bailey meet with Mae? Do you agree with Bailey's opinions about privacy? Why?

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