The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern

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Part 3, Chapters 3-5 Summary

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On a day in 1900 in London, Chandresh Lefevre is drunk. He is feeling sorry for himself as he reflects on the circus. Although he had assumed that the circus was his project, he now feels as if the circus has left him behind. He has no control over it and can barely keep up with its progress. He rises from his chair and walks unsteadily across the hall to Marco’s office. He looks around, determined to find out more about what is happening with the circus.

Marco’s office is filled with file cabinets and boxes of papers, and blueprints are strewn around the floor. Chandresh looks through everything, unsure what he hopes to find. Nothing he finds answers any of his questions or resolves any of his doubts. He walks to Marco’s desk and begins pulling out the drawers. The bottom drawer is locked. He looks around, finds an implement, and breaks the lock. Inside the drawer is a very strange notebook. Upon opening it, Chandresh discovers a page dedicated to each person involved in the circus. He even finds a page for himself. On the page is his name, strange symbols, and a lock of his hair. As he ponders what this means, Marco enters the room.

Marco asks Chandresh what he is doing. Chandresh is angry. He senses that Marco has been manipulating not only him but everyone else in the circus. He demands to know what Marco’s role is in the circus. When Marco does not fully explain what he has been doing, Chandresh fires him. Marco does not flinch. He says that not only is Chandresh no longer in charge, he never was—not even in the beginning. Other people made plans, and they merely used Chandresh as a front. Marco points out that Chandresh never knew anything about what the circus was about and never will. Then Marco adds that when this conversation is finished, Chandresh will not remember any part of it.

In anger, Chandresh mentions the notebook he has found. Marco asks, “What notebook?” Chandresh looks down at the desk. The notebook has disappeared. So have all the other papers. When he looks up, Chandresh asks Marco what they had been talking about. He cannot seem to remember why he came to Marco’s office.

In another scene, Laine meets with Celia. Laine senses that her sister Tara was killed. She believes it had something to do with the circus, and she approaches Celia, hoping to get some of her questions answered. Celia attempts to tell Laine about the circus and why it was formed. She tells Laine about the challenge she is bound to and explains that the circus is the venue through which the challenge is played out. Celia refrains from telling Laine the names of all the people involved—those who have a better understanding of the undercurrents as well as the circumstances of the challenge. And Celia admits that even she does not fully comprehend all the details.

Laine is not fully satisfied with the information Celia has provided. She also feels indignant that she is involved in this endeavor against her will. She tells Celia that she thinks her sister made a mistake somehow, and she does not want to repeat it.

A year later, the circus is in Dublin, and Marco has come to watch Celia perform. After her act, Celia tells Marco how her father ended up being virtually transparent. Her father wanted to be free from the physical world. He had the ability to do so, but he went too far and now has trouble pulling himself...

(This entire section contains 797 words.)

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back into the physical world.

Marco asks if Celia thinks she could free herself from the physical world. She says that she believes she could, under the proper conditions. She explains that to do it, one needs a powerful anchor, something physical to hold onto. She would also need to have a powerful reason for doing it.

Marco attempts to kiss Celia, but she pulls away. She tells him that it scares her how much she would love to lose herself in him. Marco tells her that she should let herself go. She can trust him. Then he suggests that they run away. Celia tells Marco to imagine them running away. As soon as he does, pain radiates through his body. Celia says that leaving is impossible. They are under someone else’s control. She also reminds him of all the other people who are involved in the circus. She fears awful things would happen to them if she and Marco were to run away.

It is with this thought that Celia and Marco separate. They promise one another that after the challenge is over, they will never be apart again.


Part 3, Chapters 1-2 Summary


Part 3, Chapters 6-8 Summary