The Circle

Eamon Bailey Character Analysis

Eamon Bailey is one of the Three Wise Men who run the Circle. Of the three, he is the most charismatic and—at least according to Ty Gospodinov—sincere. Bailey is a folksy speaker, a pious Christian, and the father of a child, Gunner, who has cerebral palsy. He is passionately devoted to the notion that human beings should share their experiences with one another, and every Friday he makes speeches to his adoring employees about the Circle’s utopian mission to eliminate secrecy and unite the world electronically. In a way, Eamon is the most dangerous of the Three Wise Men, since he seems to be the only one to sincerely believe in the ethics of total transparency (Ty rejects transparency as totalitarian, while Tom Stenton welcomes it because it’s totalitarian). As we see, Eamon is instrumental in persuading the employees of the Circle, including Mae Holland, to surrender their privacy to the company, which bolsters an ideological program that threatens to engulf the entire planet.

Eamon Bailey Quotes in The Circle

The The Circle quotes below are all either spoken by Eamon Bailey or refer to Eamon Bailey. 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

The more she looked at it, the stranger it became. The artist had arranged it such that each of the Wise Men had placed a hand on another's shoulder. It made no sense and defied the way arms could bend or stretch.

Related Characters: Mae Holland, Ty Gospodinov / Kalden, Tom Stenton, Eamon Bailey
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book One, part 2 Quotes

Now Bailey cleared the screen again, and stepped toward the audience. "You know what I say, right? In situations like this, I agree with the Hague, with human rights activists the world over. There needs to be accountability. Tyrants can no longer hide. There needs to be, and will be, documentation and accountability, and we need to bear witness. And to this end, I insist that all that happens should be known."

Related Characters: Eamon Bailey (speaker)
Page Number: 67-68
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book One, part 8 Quotes

"And I would argue that any place in the world where gays are still persecuted, you could instantly achieve great progress if all the gays and lesbians came out publicly at once. Then whoever is persecuting them, and all those who tacitly support this persecution, would realize that to persecute them would mean persecuting at least 10 percent of the population—including their sons, daughters, neighbors and friends—even their own parents. It would be instantly untenable. But the persecution of gays or any minority group is made uniquely possible through secrecy."

"Okay. I hadn't thought of it that way."

Related Characters: Mae Holland (speaker), Eamon Bailey (speaker)
Page Number: 286
Explanation and Analysis:

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"Was the information he presented incorrect? There were factual mistakes?"

"Well, it wasn't that. It was just . . . piecemeal. And maybe that made it seem incorrect. It was taking a few slivers of me and presenting that as the whole me—"
"It seemed incomplete." "Right."
"Mae, I'm very glad you put it that way. As you know, the Circle is itself trying to become complete. We're trying to close the circle at the Circle." He smiled at his own wordplay. "But you know the overall goals of completion, I assume."

Related Characters: Mae Holland (speaker), Eamon Bailey (speaker), Francis Garaventa, Gus Khazeni
Page Number: 289
Explanation and Analysis:

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Somewhere in the stampeding applause, Bailey managed to announce the capper to it all—that Mae, in the interest of sharing all she saw and could offer the world, would be going transparent immediately.

Related Characters: Mae Holland, Eamon Bailey
Page Number: 306
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book Two, part 3 Quotes

"But there are a thousand protections to prevent all of this. It's just not possible. I mean, governments will make sure—"
"Governments who are transparent? Legislators who owe their reputations to the Circle? Who could be ruined the moment they speak out? What do you think happened to Williamson? Remember her? She threatens the Circle monopoly and, surprise, the feds find incriminating stuff on her computer. You think that's a coincidence? That's about the hundredth person Stenton's done that to. Mae, once the Circle's complete, that's it. And you helped complete it. This democracy thing, or Demoxie, whatever it is, good god. Under the guise of having every voice heard, you create mob rule, a filterless society where secrets are crimes."

Related Characters: Mae Holland (speaker), Ty Gospodinov / Kalden (speaker), Tom Stenton, Eamon Bailey
Page Number: 488
Explanation and Analysis:

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Eamon Bailey Character Timeline in The Circle

The timeline below shows where the character Eamon Bailey appears in The Circle. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book One, part 1
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
...young Circlers.” Stenton’s style of conspicuous consumption clashes markedly with the lifestyles of Ty and Eamon Bailey , the third Wise Man. (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
The third figure in the painting, Eamon Bailey , seems happy, earnest, and “merry.” He’s universally beloved for his folksy way of talking,... (full context)
Book One, part 2
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
...middle-aged man wearing a sweater and jeans walks onto the stage and introduces himself as Eamon Bailey . People shout out, “We love you, Bailey!” and Bailey replies, “I love you as... (full context)
Book One, part 4
Privacy Theme Icon
...work on Francis’s child safety project he and will be presenting on his new research. Eamon Bailey comes out, welcomes the Circle employees to their weekly meeting, and introduces Gus. Gus greets... (full context)
Book One, part 7
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
...adds, “felons don’t work here.” Sighing theatrically, Dan tells Mae that her irresponsible actions inspired Eamon Bailey himself to meet with her—Mae will meet with Bailey that evening. (full context)
Book One, part 8
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
...She feels guilty for having taken the kayak without telling anyone. Just before six pm, Eamon Bailey ’s assistant leads Mae—who’s feeling intensely nervous—to Bailey’s library. Mae pretends that she’s never been... (full context)
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
Inside the library, Mae meets Eamon Bailey . Immediately, he asks her if she’s ever been here before; Mae denies that she... (full context)
Book Two, part 1
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
...adds, “You can bet that has an effect on the regime.” The sculpture, commissioned by Eamon Bailey , is uncharacteristically earnest, optimistic, and monumental—it’s altogether unlike the artist’s early, sardonic work. It... (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
...building, where she greets the Gang 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... (full context)
Book Two, part 3
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
Ty explains that Eamon Bailey genuinely believes that life will be “perfect” when the Circle is closed and “every soul... (full context)