The Circle

Ty Gospodinov / Kalden Character Analysis

Ty Gospodinov, an introverted computer genius, is the founder of the Circle and the creator of TruYou, the online identity system at the core of the Circle’s success. In creating TruYou, Ty thought that he was creating a digital utopia, but he becomes uneasy with the Circle’s rapidly growing power. Although he’s one of the three “Wise Men” who run the company, he is sidelined by the others after he calls for privacy protections. Throughout The Circle, Ty is a mysterious character, seen only via webcam at the occasional company meeting (although it’s hinted that those webcasts are not what they appear and Ty may have suffered a sinister fate). At the end of the novel, it’s revealed that Ty is actually Kalden—the mysterious Circle employee who has been having an occasional affair with Mae Holland. Kalden, trying to act on his ethical qualms with the Circle, enlists Mae to help him undermine the Circle’s plans, but Mae betrays Ty to the other two Wise Men, who seemingly place Ty under arrest (or, it’s implied, have him murdered).

Ty Gospodinov / Kalden Quotes in The Circle

The The Circle quotes below are all either spoken by Ty Gospodinov / Kalden or refer to Ty Gospodinov / Kalden. 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 and citation info for the quotes below refers 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 7 Quotes

The extra layer of the CircleSurveys helped distract Mae from thinking about Kalden, who had yet to contact her, and who had not once answered his phone. She'd stopped calling after two days, and had chosen not to mention him at all to Annie or anyone else. Her thoughts about him followed a similar path as they had after their first encounter, at the circus. First, she found his unavailability intriguing, even novel. But after three days, it seemed willful and adolescent. By the fourth day, she was tired of the game. Anyone who disappeared like that was not a serious person. He wasn't serious about her or how she felt.

Related Characters: Mae Holland, Ty Gospodinov / Kalden
Related Symbols: The Voice
Page Number: 235
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Mae pictured all this. She pictured the Circle being taken apart, sold off amid scandal, thirteen thousand people out of jobs, the campus overtaken, broken up, turned into a college or mall or something worse. And finally she pictured life on a boat with this man, sailing the world, untethered, but when she tried to, she saw, instead, the couple on the barge she'd met months ago on the bay. Out there, alone, living under a tarp, drinking wine from paper cups, naming seals, reminiscing about island fires.
At that moment, Mae knew what she needed to do.

Related Characters: Mae Holland (speaker), Ty Gospodinov / Kalden (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Elderly Couple
Page Number: 491
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Ty Gospodinov / Kalden Character Timeline in The Circle

The timeline below shows where the character Ty Gospodinov / Kalden 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
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
...portrait of the “Three Wise Men,” the three visionaries who run the Circle. There is Ty Gospodinov, the young computer genius who founded the company and who’s rumored to have Asperger’s... (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Annie tells Mae more about Ty’s role in the company. Ty’s great idea—the one on which the Circle was founded—was that... (full context)
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
Standing next to Ty in the portrait is Tom Stenton, the Circle’s CEO. Stenton seems to be in the... (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
...who suffers from cerebral palsy, and his enthusiastic relationship with the company’s young employees. Somehow, Ty, Bailey, and Stenton balance each other out and keep the company successful. As Mae looks... (full context)
Book One, part 3
Privacy Theme Icon
...to the restroom, Mae sees a man walking through the halls; he introduces himself as Kalden. He explains that he’s worked at the Circle for a while, and he asks to... (full context)
Privacy Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
As Kalden leaves, a cold-looking woman walks into the room, greets Mae, and introduces herself as Gina.... (full context)
Book One, part 5
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Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
...to her knees to protect her from the swordsman—Mae looks up and realizes that it’s Kalden. He asks if she’s okay, and then walks her away from the circus. (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Mae walks with Kalden and abruptly tells him, “You don’t remember my name.” Kalden admits he doesn’t. He gets... (full context)
Book One, part 6
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
The morning after she reunites with Kalden, Mae calls Annie and tells her that she’s met someone—someone with grey hair. Annie is... (full context)
Privacy Theme Icon
Alone, Mae thinks about meeting Kalden the previous evening. She thinks about how they walked around the campus, and how, at... (full context)
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
...do anything to harm the Circle. She asks Mae to keep an eye out for Kalden—she’s worried about having “some shadowy guy skulking around campus.” (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
One evening, Mae finds herself thinking about Kalden. She texts Annie and tells her that she hasn’t heard from him in a while.... (full context)
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
That night, the Circle holds a reception party for Congresswoman Santos. Ty appears via webcam, congratulating the Circle for its “awesome new step” toward transparency. Mae notices... (full context)
Privacy Theme Icon
While walking around the party, Mae encounters Kalden. Immediately, she asks him why she’s been unable to find him, and he asks her... (full context)
Privacy Theme Icon
When Kalden and Mae are alone again, she asks where the “stuff from Stewart’s camera” goes. Kalden... (full context)
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Kalden leads Mae to a large room, in which there’s a huge red box. Kalden explains... (full context)
Book One, part 7
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
The morning after having sex with Kalden, Mae wakes up in her dorm room. She calls Annie and tells her that she... (full context)
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
...five hundred questions a day, and she finds that CircleSurveys distract her from thinking about Kalden, “the only man for whom she’d ever had real lust.” (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
One day, Mae sees Kalden walking into her office. Just as she’s about to greet him, she hears her voice... (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
...paramilitaries, Mae gets a call from a blocked number while she’s in the bathroom. It’s Kalden. He says that he needs to see her, and that he knows where she is.... (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
...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 for Kalden’s... (full context)
Book Two, part 1
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
As Mae watches the shark, she sees a figure standing by the aquarium—it’s Kalden. Mae hasn’t heard from Kalden since she went transparent. Mae tries to follow Kalden—she walks... (full context)
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
...herself by watching footage from SeeChange cameras around the world. She also tries to find Kalden online, but, as usual, she can’t, since she doesn't know his name. (full context)
Book Two, part 2
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
...rings. She sees that the caller ID is blocked, and knows that it must be Kalden. She doesn’t answer, and Kalden calls a dozen more times. For the rest of the... (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
...no interest in politics. Now, they’re excited to be part of a fully engaged populace. Kalden continues calling Mae, and she continues ignoring him. (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
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Around 12:30, Mae works up the confidence to answer Kalden. Kalden tells Mae that he’s rigged things so that nobody will be able to hear... (full context)
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Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
Mae hangs up and makes her way to the Great Hall, disgusted with Kalden. In the Great Hall, there’s a demonstration of Demoxie on the screen, and the audience... (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
...the Circle will buy them out. Bailey and Stenton attend the meeting in person, while Ty appears via video feed. Mae remembers what Kalden has told her: speak out against the... (full context)
Book Two, part 3
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Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
Stenton greets Mae and says, “I don’t think you’ve met Ty yet, have you, Mae?” Mae turns and gasps: Kalden is standing in front of her.... (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
...same space. Although Mae proceeds with her script, she feels almost nauseous—she can’t believe that Kalden is Ty. (full context)
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Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
...seaweed, the coral, and the anemones, until it’s the only thing left in the tank. Ty says, “that was about what I imagined would happen.” Quickly, while nobody is looking, he... (full context)
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
...bathroom, Mae turns her lens toward the door and carefully looks down at the note Ty slipped her. Ty insists on meeting Mae soon: all she has to do is say,... (full context)
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
Mae finds Ty by the red sculpture, and when she sees him she feels repulsed. She accuses him... (full context)
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Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
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Ty begs Mae to use her influence to fight against Completion. He created the idea of... (full context)
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Privacy Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
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Ty explains that Eamon Bailey genuinely believes that life will be “perfect” when the Circle is... (full context)
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Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
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Ty promises Mae that once he has taken down the Circle the two of them can... (full context)
Book Three
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
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As Book Three begins, months have passed since Kalden reached out to Mae, and Mae is sure that she has prevented an “apocalypse.” She... (full context)
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Mae remembers what happened after Kalden approached her: she promised to read the letter, and then immediately went to talk to... (full context)