The Circle

The Voice Symbol Analysis

The Voice Symbol Icon

At work, Mae Holland is required to wear a headset, which prompts her to answer survey questions all day long. When she doesn’t answer a question, Mae hears a voice in her headset: it’s her own voice, saying her own name, in order to remind her to continue her task. At first, Mae finds the headset to be uncanny, but she gradually comes to find it soothing. The voice in Mae’s headset symbolizes the way that the Circle, and social networking in general, transforms people into docile, obedient servants.

The Voice Quotes in The Circle

The The Circle quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Voice. 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 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:

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.

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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Book Two, part 1 Quotes

"Mae."
She wanted to hear it again, so she said nothing. "Mae."
It was a young woman's voice, a young woman's voice that sounded bright and fierce and capable of anything.
"Mae."
It was a better, more indomitable version of herself. "Mae.”
She felt stronger every time she heard it.

Related Characters: Mae Holland
Related Symbols: The Voice
Page Number: 333
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 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.

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 Voice Symbol Timeline in The Circle

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Voice appears in The Circle. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book One, part 7
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
...hundred questions a day. When Mae doesn’t answer a question promptly, she’ll hear her own voice in her headset—which Mae finds very disorienting. (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
...Kalden walking into her office. Just as she’s about to greet him, she hears her voice in her headset, asking her to answer a question. She hesitates, and Kalden walks out... (full context)
Book Two, part 1
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
...headset asks her survey questions. When she doesn’t answer them immediately, she hears her own voice, saying her name as a reminder. Mae no longer finds hearing her own voice to... (full context)
Social Networking and the Internet Theme Icon
Surveillance and Transparency Theme Icon
Privacy Theme Icon
Totalitarianism and Indoctrination Theme Icon
...customers, but she continues to feel the tear. When she pauses, she hears her own voice in her headset, prompting her to answer the questions. The voice sounds calming—indeed, “it felt... (full context)