The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern

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Student Question

How does Celia's character evolve throughout "The Night Circus"?

Quick answer:

Celia's character changes and matures through the course of the novel.

Expert Answers

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I believe that the best indicator of Celia Bowen's maturation and overall change is her relationship with her father, Hector Bowen, which evolves over the course of the novel. Throughout the novel, Hector Bowen proves to be a hard and demanding task master. He demands a lot from Celia, and he is not happy with anything less than her best. His expectations of her abilities are high, and he withholds praise frequently. When he first begins training Celia, she tries very hard to live up to the unrealistic expectations. She wants to please her father; however, as the novel progresses, Celia's love and compassion for other people begins to outweigh her desire to be the hardened magician that her father would like her to become. She learns that the end goal of the circus and her battle with Marco is that one of them will die. Celia is unwilling to bring the competition to that gruesome conclusion, so she actively begins looking for a way to circumvent the rules of the competition. She is confident enough in herself and her abilities to defy her father's wishes and the rules of the game. This allows her to find a way to live on with Marco and keep the circus and everybody involved alive. 

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