The White Tiger
Registered by olagorie of Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg Germany on 6/30/2015
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Meet Balram Halwal, the 'White Tiger': servant, philosopher, entrepreneur, murderer. Over the course of seven nights, by the scattered light of a preposterous chandelier, Balram tells his story...Born in a village in the dark heart of India, the son of a rickshaw puller, Balram is taken out of school by his family and put to work in a teashop. As he crushes coal and wipes tables, he nurses a dream of escape of breaking away from the banks Mother Ganga, into whose murky depths have seeped the remains of a hundred generations. His big chance comes when a rich village landlord hires him as a chauffeur for his son, daughter-in-law, and their two Pomeranian dogs.
The White Tiger is the debut novel by Indian author Aravind Adiga. It was first published in 2008 and won the 40th Man Booker Prize in the same year. The novel provides a darkly humorous perspective of India’s class struggle in a globalized world as told through a retrospective narration from Balram Halwai, a village boy. In detailing Balram's journey first to Delhi, where he works as a chauffeur to a rich landlord, and then to Bangalore, the place to which he flees after killing his master and stealing his money, the novel examines issues of religion, caste, loyalty, corruption and poverty in India. Ultimately, Balram transcends his sweet-maker caste and becomes a successful entrepreneur, establishing his own taxi service.
According to Adiga, the exigence for The White Tiger was to capture the unspoken voice of people from "the Darkness" – the impoverished areas of rural India, and he "wanted to do so without sentimentality or portraying them as mirthless humorless weaklings as they are usually.
The White Tiger takes place in a time in which increased technology has led to world globalization. The book shows a modern day, capitalist Indian society with free market and free business. It also shows how it can create economic division. Balram’s quest to becoming an entrepreneur shows the oppression of the lower caste system and the superiority of the upper caste.
Throughout the book, there are references to how Balram is very different from those back in his home environment. He is referred to as the "white tiger" . A white tiger symbolizes power in East Asian cultures. It is also a symbol for freedom and individuality. Balram is seen as different from those he grew up with.
The story of the amoral protagonist at the centre of this fascinating narrative is, of course, what keeps the reader comprehensively gripped, but perhaps the real achievement of the book is in its picture of two Indias: the bleak, soul-destroying poverty of village life and the glittering prizes to be found in the big city. The book cleverly avoids fulfilling any of the expectations a potential reader might have -- except that of instructing and entertaining. The White Tiger will have many readers anxious to see what Adiga will do next.
Counts for India.
Journal Entry 2 by olagorie at Fort Rajwada in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan India on Saturday, October 22, 2016
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