The White Tiger, published in 2008, is an epistolary novel written by the Indian author Aravind Adiga. It is a story about a low cast Indian named Balram. Balram exploits all opportunities to break free from the so-called rooster coop. Ultimately he succeeds, though under a terrible cost.
Aravind Adiga shows his readers India like they have never seen before; the crooked cast system, the ever-present corruption and the pretence of freedom. Choosing a narrative format for his story, Aravind Adiga is also enabled to show his readers Balram’s thoughts. The storyline, the characters and Adiga’s writing style cause the reader to be sucked into the book from the very beginning.
The White Tiger takes place in India. Adiga himself grew up in India and while writing the story, he clearly criticised its society. A reason for this may be that Adiga moved to Australia, where he presumably realised many Indian habits and aspects of society are problematic: the cast system, the corruption, etc. It is highly assumable that this was also his main aim of writing the story: to aware the reader of the negative sides of the Indian society. In the next three paragraphs we will focus on the Indian society described by Adiga.
In the book, Balram narrates his entire life story to the Chinese premier. He tells the premier that he was born in a little village named Laxmangarh, located in the rural areas of India, an area that is called “The Darkness”. Aravind Adiga describes the village like any other village in “The Darkness”: “Your Excellency, I am proud to inform you that Laxmangarh is your typical Indian village paradise, adequately supplied with electricity, running water, and working telephones; and that the children of my village, raised on a nutritious diet of meat, eggs, vegetables, and lentils, will be found, when examined with tape measure and scales, to match up to the minimum height and weight standards set by the United Nations and other...