v Assignment paper : E-C- 401 New Literatures
v Topic : Thematic study of “The White Tiger” Skin, White Masks"
v Student’s Name : Gandhi Pooja S.
v Roll No : 08
v URL : gandhipooja151011.blogspot.com
v Semester : 4
v Batch : 2011-12
Dr. Dilip Barad
Department of English
The White Tiger depicts the chaos, suffering, frustration, inferiority and black misery hidden behind the global, glittering urban spectacle. The writer has shown how individual aspirations and dreams are suppressed under massive social strictures and pressures. The White Tiger is fantastic depictions of life in two fast globalizing nations where the pace of life seems to be accelerating but human values and moral, ethical system seems to be fast declining and set for a downward spiral towards chaos.
v Master-slave Relationship:
Balram Halwai, the protagonist is a typical voice of underclass metaphorically described as “Rooster coop” and struggling to set free from age-old slavery and exploitation. His anger, protest, indulgence in criminal acts, prostitution, drinking, chasing, grabbing all the opportunities, means fair or foul endorse deep-rooted frustration and its reaction against the “haves”. Bloody acts, opportunism, entrepreneurial success of Balram, emergence of Socialists in India alarm that the voice of the underclass cannot be ignored for long.
v Gap between poor and rich:
What Adiga highlights is the ever widening gap between the rich and the poor and the economic system that lets a small minority to prosper at the expense of the majority. It has been pointed out that the period since the neoliberal economic reforms were introduced in India, there has been greater economic disparity. There is a growing consumption by the rich and the urban upper middle income groups. Side by side we see the lives of the poor becoming more vulnerable and precarious. Balram, a poor driver couldn’t enter a mall as he belonged to the poor class. If he walked into the mall someone would say “Hey, That man is a paid driver! What‘s he doing in here? In portraying the character of Balram, Adiga has excelled in projecting a typical psychopath, our society can churn out.
v Two faces of India:
Adiga's The White Tiger in an epistolary style depicts men and women fighting impossible odds to survive: there is class war - the war between "the two castes: Men with Big Bellies and the Men with Small Bellies". As for as destinies are concerned, Adiga's observation is that there are only two destinies- "eat or get eaten up". The text is a depiction of India's class/power struggle, an example of how the India of call centre meets the India of slum dweller. "Bangalore and Gurgaon are portrayed as hubs of active and places are flood lit literally with magnificent malls and captivating dance floors attracting the youth of society".
v Light and darkness:
The theme of light and darkness is appearing very often in the story of Balram Halwai. For Balram the river Ganga is a symbol for darkness which results in calling it “Ganga of black”. Warning Wen Jiabao not going to wash himself in the Ganga naming all the different diseases, acids and garbage that flows in it, he describes the death bringing power of the stream. Originally it is a holy river which cleans body and soul. Therefore it is a big tourist attraction and very famous. But Balram tells about the “real” Ganga with all the dangers which only the Indians know. The more away you live from the source the dirtier it is because of the burnt cadavers, acid and dirt that were thrown into it. That means all the people who don’t live near the source live in the darkness which means poverty and lack of prospects.
Adiga has focused on the changing trends, mindsets, value systems in post globalization Indian society. Adiga try to break the mould of stereotypical portrayal of rural life as one of pristine innocence, instead showing rural life as petty, demeaning, hostile and retrogressive.