The Circle

Annie Allerton is a high-ranking member of the Circle (one of the so-called “Gang of 40”), but it’s never made clear what, precisely, she does. Annie is an old friend of Mae Holland’s, and she pulls strings to ensure that the Circle hires her. For the first half of the book, Annie seems to be an enthusiastic advocate of the Circle’s culture and beliefs: Annie encourages Mae to post online about her experiences, and she expresses shock and anxiety when Mae ignores her messages for even fifteen minutes. However, in the second half of the novel, as Mae becomes increasingly enamored with the Circle and its philosophy of transparency, Annie becomes increasingly uneasy and stressed out. Seemingly jealous of Mae’s new success, Annie begins ignoring her old friend and eventually has a nervous breakdown, which places her in a coma. The breakdown in Annie’s friendship with Mae is one of the most tragic aspects of The Circle, and the arc of their relationship is an argument that social networking pushes people further apart instead of bringing them closer together.

Annie Allerton Quotes in The Circle

The The Circle quotes below are all either spoken by Annie Allerton or refer to Annie Allerton. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Circle published in 2014.
Book One, part 1 Quotes

Their first month living together Mae had broken her jaw one twilight, after fainting, flu-ridden and underfed, during finals. Annie had told her to stay in bed, but Mae had gone to the 7-Eleven for caffeine and woke up on the sidewalk, under a tree. Annie took her to the hospital, and waited as they wired her jaw, and then stayed with Mae, sleeping next to her, in a wooden chair, all night, and then at home, for days, had fed Mae through a straw. It was a fierce level of commitment and competence that Mae had never seen from someone her age or near her age, and Mae was thereafter loyal in a way she'd never known she could be.

Related Characters: Mae Holland, Annie Allerton
Page Number: 2-3
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book One, part 2 Quotes

"It's the worst story," Annie said. "His parents were such fuckups. I think there were like four or five kids in the family, and Francis was youngest or second-youngest, and anyway the dad was in jail, and the mom was on drugs, so the kids were sent all over the place. I think one went to his aunt and uncle, and his two sisters were sent to some foster home, and then they were abducted from there. I guess there was some doubt if they were, you know, given or sold to the murderers."
"The what?" Mae had gone limp.
"Oh god, they were raped and kept in closets and their bodies were dropped down some kind of abandoned missile silo. I mean, it was the worst story ever.”

Related Characters: Mae Holland (speaker), Annie Allerton (speaker), Francis Garaventa
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book Two, part 2 Quotes

"Mae, they just got up and left. They never called 911 or anything. There's no record of it. They never reported it. But the body was found the next day. The guy wasn't even homeless. He was maybe a little mentally disabled but he lived with his parents and worked at a deli, washing dishes. My parents just watched him drown."
Now Annie was choking on her tears.
"Have you told them about this?"
"No. I can't talk to them. They're really disgusting to me right now"

Related Characters: Mae Holland (speaker), Annie Allerton (speaker)
Page Number: 443
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book Three Quotes

What was going on in that head of hers? It was exasperating, really, Mae thought, not knowing. It was an affront, a deprivation, to herself and to the world. She would bring this up with Stenton and Bailey, with the Gang of 40, at the earliest opportunity. They needed to talk about Annie, the thoughts she was thinking. Why shouldn't they know them? The world deserved nothing less and would not wait.

Related Characters: Mae Holland, Annie Allerton
Page Number: 497
Explanation and Analysis:

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Annie Allerton Character Timeline in The Circle

The timeline below shows where the character Annie Allerton appears in The Circle. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book One, part 1
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
...Circle, thanks in large part to the help of her friend and former college roommate, Annie. Mae feels exceptionally close to Annie, who once took care of Mae after she broke... (full context)
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...the main company building. Inside, a young woman named Renata greets her, and explains that Annie will be with her in an hour. Renata shows Mae to her new desk. As... (full context)
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As Mae surveys her ugly cubicle and thinks about her previous job, she hears Annie say, “Now I’m thinking this wasn’t such a good idea.” She turns, and sees that... (full context)
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As Annie leads Mae around the building, Mae thinks about Annie’s college days. In college, Annie was... (full context)
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Annie explains that Mae will be working in the Customer Experience department, but she assures Mae... (full context)
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Annie takes Mae to the “Ochre Library,” a large, private reading room with an aesthetic that... (full context)
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Annie tells Mae more about Ty’s role in the company. Ty’s great idea—the one on which... (full context)
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Annie shows Mae the rest of the library. It contains tens of thousands of leather-bound books,... (full context)
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Annie tells Mae that she needs to go back to work. She leads Mae down to... (full context)
Book One, part 2
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In the evening, Mae meets up with Annie at the Circle’s solstice party. They load their plates with delicious food, sit in the... (full context)
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Annie sees Mae and Francis talking and she comes to greet them. Francis seems oddly intimidated... (full context)
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Annie greets Mae, and Mae is so overwhelmed with gratitude that she embraces Annie and whispers,... (full context)
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...and compliments her for her success. As Mae works, she sees on her tablet that Annie has sent a company-wide message that Mae is “kicking ass” on her first day. (full context)
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On Friday, Mae gets lunch with Annie, and Annie praises Mae for her excellent work. Annie notes that when she worked in... (full context)
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After lunch, Annie, Mae, and the other Circle employees congregate in the Great Hall, which is a cavernous... (full context)
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...himself. Now, Bailey can check up on his mother at any time. Mae whispers to Annie, “This is incredible.” Bailey concludes, “All that happens will be known.” (full context)
Book One, part 3
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...week, and Francis apologizes for talking about his childhood so frankly. He adds, “I assume Annie filled in the gory stuff. She likes to tell that story.” Francis proceeds to tell... (full context)
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Mae meets Annie for lunch. Annie tells Mae that she’s been following Mae’s “conflict resolution” with Alistair. At... (full context)
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Mae returns to her desk, where she’s left her phone, she and sees that Annie has already left her eleven messages. Each message is more urgent than the one before:... (full context)
Book One, part 5
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...and suggests that Mae add her parents to her insurance plan. That evening, Mae asks Annie about adding her parents to her insurance plan, explaining that her father’s current health insurance... (full context)
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As Mae is standing alone in Annie’s office, Annie calls her and explains that she’s “twisted a few arms” and arranged for... (full context)
Book One, part 6
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The morning after she reunites with Kalden, Mae calls Annie and tells her that she’s met someone—someone with grey hair. Annie is perplexed, since she... (full context)
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...night, he pulled her close to him, as if he’d wanted to kiss her. Suddenly, Annie calls back. Mae remembers what Annie’s told her: the Circle is in “some moderately hot... (full context)
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...Mae focuses on her customers, and ignores Francis’s endless stream of messages and apology videos. Annie returns from Peru on Friday and meets up with Mae to watch the news about... (full context)
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...for letting down her company—the same company that’s taking such good care of her parents. Annie messages her, “Goddamnit, Mae, give a shit!” For the rest of the evening, Mae “zings,”... (full context)
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One evening, Mae finds herself thinking about Kalden. She texts Annie and tells her that she hasn’t heard from him in a while. Privately, she thinks... (full context)
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On Friday, Annie and Mae are sitting in the Great Hall, where Tom Stenton is about to give... (full context)
Book One, part 7
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...morning after having sex with Kalden, Mae wakes up in her dorm room. She calls Annie and tells her that she had sex with Kalden, but still doesn’t know his last... (full context)
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...to photograph his arm and fingertips, “the rest of him already gone.” Afterwards, Mae texts Annie about having had sex with Kalden. (full context)
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...needs to generate revenue by advertising for other businesses. As Gina speaks, Mae openly messages Annie about Kalden—Gina seems intensely jealous that Mae talks to Annie “all day.” Annie asks Mae... (full context)
Book One, part 8
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...that she has, and Bailey’s face twitches oddly. He asks Mae about her friendship with Annie, and he offers her tea. Then, without warning, he asks Mae about the events of... (full context)
Book Two, part 1
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...soon as the camera is off, Mae feels a deep “tear” inside her. She messages Annie, but gets no response, so she tries to entertain herself by watching footage from SeeChange... (full context)
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...with each other, and with the Circle. She recalls that today is the day that Annie returns from her months in Europe and Asia where she was “ironing out some regulatory... (full context)
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Mae remembers that she has to see Dr. Villalobos in ten minutes. Suddenly, she sees Annie walking by in the distance and calls after her. Annie turns and smiles a “practiced,... (full context)
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...her camera on—the “rules” give her up to three minutes of silence. In the bathroom, Annie compliments Mae for “killing it,” but Mae detects a note of envy in her voice.... (full context)
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...to visit her parents, furious that they’ve disrespected the Circle. She begins to wonder what Annie—who, she’s convinced, is jealous of Mae—will do to use Mae’s embarrassment about her family to... (full context)
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...of 40, the group that approves new Circle projects. Eamon Bailey greets her warmly, but Annie does not greet her at all. Previously, Mae has been told that the meeting must... (full context)
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Annie disagrees with Mae’s point: why bother building a “wraparound service” when the government could do... (full context)
Book Two, part 2
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Suddenly, Mae sees Annie and embraces her. Annie immediately informs Mae that she’s been working on PastPerfect, a new... (full context)
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When Mae returns to her desk, she sees a message, written on paper, from Annie. The message asks her to come to the bathroom as soon as possible. Mae does... (full context)
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The next day, the Circle releases Annie’s ancestry. Some people find it disturbing that Annie’s distant ancestors owned slaves, but most don’t... (full context)
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The next day, Mae goes to the bathroom and sees the tip of Annie’s shoe in the next stall; immediately, she turns off her audio. Annie, her voice very... (full context)
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The next day, Annie zings, “We shouldn’t know everything.” Mae and Annie meet in the bathroom again and turn... (full context)
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...pride that her coworkers are so committed to transparency. Suddenly, she realizes the “solution” to Annie’s problem: enlist the millions of Circle users to express their support for Annie. Speaking to... (full context)
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...Hall, where she’s about to give a solo presentation. Mae explains what she did for Annie, and Bailey smiles and compliments Mae on her foresight. Then, Mae walks out onto the... (full context)
Book Two, part 3
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...that time, Mae’s number of watchers has held steady—around 28 million. In the past week, Annie has “collapsed.” Mae meets with Bailey in his library, thinking that she needs to be... (full context)
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Bailey asks Mae how Annie is doing, and Mae replies, “the same.” Then, Bailey walks Mae out of the library,... (full context)
Book Three
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Mae is sitting in a clinic, staring down at Annie. Annie, Mae remembers, collapsed at her desk and fell into a coma. Afterwards. Dr. Villalobos... (full context)
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Still standing over Annie’s comatose body, Mae looks at the screen monitoring Annie’s brain waves. Mae feels angry that... (full context)