At various points in the novel, Mae Holland goes kayaking. She loves to kayak because it provides her with some alone time in which she doesn’t have to think about her friends, her job, or her family. Kayaking symbolizes the power of solitude and privacy: thus, it’s no surprise that, for the second half of the book, Mae doesn’t go kayaking at all.
Kayaking Quotes in The Circle
She thought of the foxes that might be underneath her, the crabs that might be hiding under the stones on the shore, the people in the cars that might be passing overhead, the men and women in the tugs and tankers, arriving to port or leaving, sighing, everyone having seen everything. She guessed at it all, what might live, moving purposefully or drifting aimlessly, in the deep water around her, but she didn't think too much about any of it. It was enough to be aware of the million permutations possible around her, and take comfort in knowing she would not, and really could not, know much at all.