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The White Tiger - English ISU
Transcript of The White Tiger - English ISU
White Tiger. The novel is based in Laxmangarh, India and follows the story of Balram a lower caste Indian. He is essentially a man without morals, however it is understandable why he acts the way he does. He has also written several other books such as: Between the Assassinations (2008) and Last Man in Tower (2011) Thesis Balram's metamorphosis from a loyal servant to a successful entrepreneur is due to his nonconforming desire for success and his exposure to an oppressive environment. Cultural Background Historical Background Social Background As a result of an oppressive environment, the only education Balram receives is in that of social matters. Childhood Adolescence Adulthood 1 2 3 Balram an intelligent young boy who is taken out of school in order to help pay debts of dowry. He is forced to work in a tea shop. Balram is not satisfied with working in a tea shop for the rest of his life, and overhears that chauffeurs make a great salary. Balram establishes his place as the main driver. However, he murders his master, Ashok, in his desire to break free of the rooster coop. He then steals the money that was to be used in the bribe to start a taxi company. However, it is more helpful than what he could have obtained from attending school, as teachers were not paid and therefore would steal the funds that were to be used for the students. A sign of corruption within the government, as they handle the salary of teachers. Balram desires to achieve something better, rather than staying as a lower class tea shop worker. This differs from his brother Kishan, who is compliant with his fate. What factors are involved in Indian culture? It is because he is taken out of school, that Balram begins to learn in terms of social matters, and becomes up to date with the current trends. This leads to his success as an entrepreneur later on. He attended Columbia and Oxford universities. T e a S h o p You're angry with me for taking you out of school, aren't you? (Adiga 32) I'll tell you how I gave myself a better education at the tea shop than I could have got at any school. (33) Paradox! A driver was needed for the car. And on that day I had turned up. Climbing the Ladder to the Light Balram's ambition and nonconformist ideals allows him to ascend up the ladder of society and into the 'Light'. Once Balram starts working at the tea shop, he eavesdrops on the conversations of customers and learns valuable information. However, Kishan who had worked in the tea shop for many years did not take any action to become successful in anyway. Everyone's getting a car these days - and you know how much they pay their drivers? One thousand seven hundred rupees a month! (45) If you go to old Delhi, you can see a chicken coop, crowded with chickens. They see the remains of their dead brothers and sisters around them, but they themselves do not escape.This is the country we live in. Granny said stick to the tea shop - and we'll stick to the tea shop. (45) Are you all right Uncle? I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry." Sorry for what? I can't live the rest of my life in a cage, Granny. I'm so sorry. (239) Balram plots to kill Ashok his master in order to steal his money and start up a business. This is due to his desire to break free of the Rooster Coop. He justifies his immoral acts as it is the only path to success in a society where the lower castes and the poor are oppressed. Merinews:
Unfortunately, the students still don’t get education as the teachers hardly come to the classrooms, being busy with their personal chores in the school premises itself... In addition, A major chunk of food material for the students supplied is used in the teachers’ kitchens. Do you sympathize with Balram, as a character? What would you have done in his position? Why does Balram conform to the Indian societal values as soon as he reaches the 'Light'? Are his actions justifiable? India has had many invasions over thousands of years. Invaded by the Aryans, Monguls, Portuguese, Dutch and British, India has undergone many changes socially and culture wise. In the White Tiger, British colonization plays a big role, as it had the last succeeding rule over India. As predominant factor in social affairs, the caste system distinguishes people in accordance to a hierachy. After India achieved independence in 1947, Balram states that their caste system turned into a disorderly 'zoo', and that wealth ruled over castes. Why was Balram taken out of school? As aforementioned, the bride's family is expected to pay a dowry. However, as many live in poverty these dowries are borrowed, resulting in debt. Instead of studying at school, children are taken out and forced to work in order to aid in payments. According to Population Reference Bureau, over 60.5% of India's population lives in poverty, this increases the chance of many children being taken out of school to work. How exactly was Balram able to get away with murdering Mr. Ashok and becoming a successful entrepreneur? Police negligence can lead to an oppressive environment as well, especially when bribery is commonplace. Eurasia Review published an article that analyzes the injustice carried out by the very people who are to protect it. A witness testified: “No one can get any work done in the UP police without paying money. Even the UP police chief does not issue transfer orders without taking money,” a deputy SP-level officer VK Sharma told reporters in Bulandshahr on Monday. (Eurasia Review 1) Essentially, as Balram tries to get to the 'Light', he also breaks through the barriers of caste, as he is a lower caste sweet-maker (Halwai). Balram infers that in urban areas such as Delhi, there are two main castes: men with 'big bellies' and men with 'small bellies'. Religion Family Tradition Gender Roles Festivities I think the Rooster Coop needs people like me to break out of it. (245) Works Cited Adiga, Aravind. The White Tiger: Aravind Adiga. London: Atlantic, 2008. Print.
"Aravind Adiga." Official Site Aravind Adiga. Aravind Adiga. Web. 08 Jan. 2013. <http://aravindadiga.com/>.
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"Poor Indian Students: Innocent Victims of Corruption." Poor Indian Students: Innocent Victims of Corruption. 15 Feb. 2010. Web. 09 Jan. 2013. <http://www.merinews.com/article/poor-indian-students-innocent-victims-of-corruption/15798052.shtml>.
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"White Tigers - Cruelty NOT Conservation." YouTube. YouTube, 08 Dec. 2011. Web. 02 Jan. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKwY7yV5sYo>
White Tiger. Digital Image. TylerDuchaine. Wordpress. Web. 3 Jan. 2013. <http://tylerduchaine.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/adventures-in-gimp/> Did you know that according to Population Reference Bureau, over 60.5% of the Indian population lives in poverty? If people followed Balram's example, there would be no more darkness, but much more crime.