The plot of The Night Circus is very heavily influenced by many major themes throughout the novel. The themes that are most present in the novel are love, time, free will, magic, and dreams.
The theme of love in The Night Circus is one of the most prevalent themes. Many of the major decisions made by characters are based of love or lack of it. One example of love majorly altering the decisions of a character is when Isobel removes the charm she put on the circus. She does this after Marco admits to her that he is in love with Celia and if she hadn’t had done this the circus would have stayed in balance and Celia’s friend would not have died. It is Bailey’s love of the circus that motivates him to pursue it all the way to New York and take over the circus. The theme of love can also be seen by the statement at the conclusion of the novel Celia has so many things she wishes to say to Marco but “Only one seemed truly important. ‘I love you,’ she says.”(468).
The theme of time also plays a large role in the story. This is indicated by the always present symbol that is the intricate clock just inside the circus gates. The fact that the clock “takes hours” (88) for the scene within it to unfold signifies how time within the circus moves slowly, remaining in a sort of stasis. Time is also heavily present within the powers of many characters in the story. For instance, Poppet has the ability to see the future and Widget can see the past. The story also takes place at unusual times, as the circus is open only at night. Also, the narrative often jumps from one point in time to another as the focus is put onto different characters at different moments in their individual stories.
Free will is thematically present in The Night Circus in regards to the challenge. Marco and Celia both have no choice but to participate in the game as they are bonded to it and each other by a magic charm put upon the two of them at a young age. They cannot even think about things that would break the rules of the...