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The White Tiger is the debut novel by Indian author Aravind Adiga. It was first published in . In an interview with Aravind Adiga, he talked about how " The White Tiger" was a book about a man's quest for freedom. Balram, the protagonist. The White Tiger book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Introducing a major literary talent, The White Tiger offers a st. Balram Halwai, the narrator of Aravind Adiga's first novel, “The White Tiger,” is a modern Indian hero. In a country inebriated by its newfound.

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Balram Halwai, narrator of The White Tiger, is not going to let a lack of education keep him in the dark. He is heading for glory in India's bright. Aravind Adiga's debut novel, The White Tiger, won the Booker prize this (a book that Adiga recognises as a powerful influence on his work). A stunning literary debut critics have likened to Richard Wright's Native Son, The White Tiger follows a darkly comic Bangalore driver through the poverty and.

Unlike the majority of the poor in India, eternally pent up in the Coop, he is willing to sacrifice his family for his own self gain. His ambition and inner drive propels him to commit murder to achieve freedom.

To be one's own man, one must break free from the darkness and live life being able to choose his own path. While murdering Ashok will result in the resultant murder of his family, the one murder alone is enough to break free from the Darkness. By murdering Ashok, therefore, Balram becomes his own man, free of the chains of servitude and finally able to control his own destiny. According to Balram, there are two different types of people in India.

There are those in the light—politicians, businessmen, entrepreneurs, to name a few, who prosper financially and sit at the top of society—and there are those in the Darkness, trapped in lives of poverty and subservience. They do not try to get out of the coop. Balram's family is in the Darkness.

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While they are supposed to be sweetmakers, or Halweis, they live in poverty. His father works tenuously as a rickshaw puller, and his brother works in the local tea shop. Balram's father implants in him early on this idea of breaking away from the Darkness, and of becoming his own man. He instates in Balram the goal of becoming one of those men who are in the light.

In the eyes of Balram's father, a man should live in the light, free from the grueling life of manual labor and servitude. Balram adopts this goal, and devotes his life towards attaining it. Balram has a big belly, filled with the lust of freedom and of riches—the same belly which will eventually propel him to murder Ashok and give up his family for the sake of becoming a man. In his childhood, Balram recognizes that he is special. When an official comes to evaluate his school, he singles out Balram because he is the only one who can read and write.

They do not have the ambition, drive or intelligence that is needed to escape—the same characteristics which the inspector sees in Balram. Balram calls himself White Tiger permanently after this event.


He fully takes on and embodies the life of a white tiger. Balram only faints twice in his life.

Each time he faints it is because he realizes that the Darkness is inescapable without some form of resistance. The same would happen to me when I died and they brought me here. Balram cannot fathom the prospect of forever remaining in the Darkness.

He sees the overwhelming power that being in the Darkness has on the ones in it: that when surrounded by others marked by a lack of ambition, leading lives of destitute servitude, unable to choose the paths of their own lives, one inevitably surrenders to that same life. Balram faints thinking that this could happen to him.

The White Tiger

Balram faints for a second time when he goes to the zoo. Balram's current predicament of servitude serves as his own cage. He wholeheartedly embraced his master, with whom he treated with great love, to distract himself from the fact that he was living in a life that he and his father wanted so desperately for him to break free of.

When Balram sees himself in that cage, he has an epiphany. Up to this point, he had never seriously considered rebelling against or killing Ashok.

Roars of anger

That book was disliked by white and blacks. My book too will cause widespread offence. Balram is my invisible man, made visible.

This white tiger will break out of his cage.

For Indian readers, one of the most upsetting parts of that break-out is that Halwai casts off his family. If you're rude to your mother in India, it's a crime as bad as stealing would be here. But the family ties get broken or at least stretched when anonymous, un-Indian cities like Bangalore draw people from the villages.

These really are the new tensions of India, but Indians don't think about them. The middle- classes, especially, think of themselves still as victims of colonial rule. But there is no point any more in someone like me thinking of myself as a victim of you [Adiga has cast me, not for the first time, as a colonial oppressor]. India and China are too powerful to be controlled by the west any more.

Roars of anger

Our time is nearly over. Adiga doesn't know how he will spend his prize money, isn't even sure if there's a safe bank in which to deposit it.

Doesn't he fear attacks at home for his portrayal of India? After all, the greatest living Indian painter, MF Husain, lives in exile. Fortunately, the political class doesn't read.

He lives in exile because his messages got through, but mine probably won't. Adiga, who says he has written his second novel but won't talk about it "It might be complete crap, so there's no point" , flies home to Mumbai today to resume his bachelor life.

His most pressing problem is that Mumbai landlords don't let flats to single men. I'd just like to say, through your pages, that I am not. In fact, if you check the biographies of Indian terrorists you'll find they are mostly family men who are well-off. It's a trend that needs to be investigated. He is not or not only an entrepreneur but a roguish criminal with a remarkable capacity for self-justification.

Likewise, the background against which he operates is not just a resurgent economy and nation but a landscape of corruption, inequality and poverty. It is not a world that rich urban Indians like to see. In bare, unsentimental prose, he strips away the sheen of a self-congratulatory nation and reveals instead a country where the social compact is being stretched to the breaking point.

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There is much talk in this novel of revolution and insurrection: But Adiga, a former correspondent for Time magazine who lives in Mumbai, is less successful as a novelist. His detailed descriptions of various vile aspects of Indian life are relentless — and ultimately a little monotonous.Underneath the satirical element is the fact that India has social issues. Adiga's yarn is utterly engrossing; it's a mystery unraveled in the purest tradition of classic storytelling.

View all 36 comments. The White Tiger. Zeebra Books A brutal view of India's class struggles is cunningly presented in Adiga's debut about a racist, homicidal chauffer. Fine, actually it was an entertaining and engaging rags-to-riches story about injustice and inequality in a c Postcolonial lite. There is more imagery of class fixity, but enough already. No danger to you. It is a provocative book as it paints an unflattering portrait of India as a society racked by corruption and servitude, exposing the country's dark side.