The Circle

The Shark Symbol Icon

The final animal in the aquarium is the shark, which devours everything in its sight. Eggers explicitly states that the shark symbolizes Tom Stenton, the third and most dangerous Wise Man. Throughout the novel, it seems that Stenton, in spite of his greed and his desire for power, is willing to cooperate with his partners, Ty Gospodinov and Eamon Bailey. However, at the end of the novel, it becomes clear that Stenton, just like the shark, won’t stop until he’s gained power over the entire world.

The Shark Quotes in The Circle

The The Circle quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Shark. 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 Two, part 3 Quotes

He couldn't get enough of the shark, its anxious circling.

"Until next time," Stenton said finally. He nodded to Mae, and then to her watchers, who were now one hundred million, many of them terrified, many more in awe and wanting more of the same.

Related Characters: Tom Stenton (speaker), Mae Holland
Related Symbols: The Octopus, The Seahorse, The Shark
Page Number: 482
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.

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The Shark Symbol Timeline in The Circle

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Shark appears in The Circle. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book Two, part 1
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
...expedition to the Marianas Trench, and he brought with him a hitherto undiscovered species of shark, which he displays in a tank at the Circle campus. Mae’s new job at the... (full context)
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
Mae walks back to the shark tank, where she greets a marine biologist named Georgia who has come to feed the... (full context)
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... (full context)
Book Two, part 3
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
...script, Mae explains that Stenton has assembled three majestic animals together in the aquarium: a shark, an octopus, and a seahorse. This is the first time, she continues, that the three... (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
...coral, wanting to know all, touch all.” Finally, the marine biologist prepares to introduce the shark into the tank. First, the biologist throws tuna fish into the water, “in case the... (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
The shark swims toward the octopus and tears it apart. Bailey whimpers in sadness, but Stenton looks... (full context)
Utopianism and Perfection Theme Icon
...become Kalden. Mae asks Ty why his hair went grey, and he replies, “The fucking shark that eats the world.” He says that Bailey and Stenton know he goes by another... (full context)