As one of the novel’s primary protagonists, Celia is largely defined by her resiliency and compassion. Her introduction as a five-year-old child who magically breaks a teacup reveals both her inherent supernatural talents and the heartbreaking trauma of a little girl who’s recently lost her mother to suicide. Celia’s perpetual struggle for autonomy begins when her father binds her to the magical challenge that will ultimately take on the form of the Night Circus. Her father’s rigid control of her life is a constant source of conflict for Celia. Though she is quite literally haunted by his specter, she seizes hold of her own life and experiences a time of personal and emotional fulfillment in the circus. The circus becomes a host of contradictory things for Celia: the stage of her self-expression, a community she loves, and her prison. As her relationship with Marco develops, Celia is once again confronted with the frustration of being unable to make her own choices. She seizes her autonomy in the only way that she can when she commits to sacrificing herself so that Marco can be free. However, her resourcefulness and determination ultimately prevent this tragedy while freeing and protecting them both.