The White Tiger

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Submitted By xca23
Words 26039
Pages 105
The White Tiger
The entire novel is narrated through letters by Balram Halwai to the Premier of China, who will soon be visiting India.
Balram is an Indian man from an impoverished background, born in the village of Laxmangarh. Early on, he describes his basic story: he transcended his humble beginnings to become a successful entrepreneur in Bangalore, largely through the murder Mr. Ashok, who had been his employer. Balram also makes clear that because of the murder, it is likely that his own family has been massacred in retribution.
In Laxmangarh, Balram was raised in a large, poor family from the Halwai caste, a caste that indicates sweet-makers. The village is dominated and oppressed by the “Four Animals,” four landlords known as the Wild Boar, the Stork, the Buffalo, and the Raven. Balram's father is a struggling rickshaw driver, and his mother died when he is young. The alpha figure of his family was his pushy grandmother, Kusum.
Balram was initially referred to simply as “Munna,” meaning “boy," since his family had not bothered to name him. He did not have another name until his schoolteacher dubbed him Balram. The boy proved himself intelligent and talented, and was praised one day as a rare “White Tiger” by a visiting school inspector. Unfortunately, Balram was removed from school after only a few years, to work in a tea shop with his brother, Kishan. There, he furthered his education by eavesdropping on the conversations of shop customers.
Balram feels that there are two Indias: the impoverished “Darkness” of the rural inner continent, and the “Light” of urban coastal India. A mechanism that he dubs the “Rooster Coop” traps the Indian underclass in a perpetual state of servitude. It involves both deliberate methods used by the upper class and a mentality enforced by the underclass on itself.
Balram’s father died from tuberculosis in a decrepit…...

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