White Tiger

January 16, 2010
By , Oak Park, IL
Deceit and Lies: A Way to a Man’s Heart
The way the author shapes the main character in White Tiger (Balram) compared to the main character in Slum Dog Millionaire is contradictory. In Slum Dog Millionaire the writer of the movie makes it seem that in life, if you work hard and put in effort into your doings, then you can/will go far. The way the author of White Tiger, Adiga, portrays a simple poor taxi driver in his novel, is completely contradictory. The fact that Balram can and eventually does deceive his master (by stealing gas, alcohol bottles, and takes advantage of his masters carelessness) reinforces the fact that Adiga shapes Balram as initially being nice and honest, but over time he evolves into a deceitful liar.


Another way Adiga shapes Balram to prove that solely hard work can not get you far in India , is Balram often rationalizes his thoughts. For example, when Balram see’s the red bag belonging to the female and talks himself through what would happen if he pecked through it, shows a sense of him becoming more of a corrupt man then he was originally sought out to be.


In addition to the previous idea , White Tiger also articulates an idea that you not only have to work hard to achieve what you want, you have to dig deeper down and become less human to achieve success, the last passage given verbalizes exactly this idea. When Balram talks about how ‘you should not take the beatings like your father did’ and that ‘you should make something out of yourself’, actions taken by men and women trying to escape the slums is ridiculous. Once a person starts emerging as more of an object then a human being is when the blood-thirsty men and women appear. When a man of lower power see’s what it’s like to be part of a higher caste and visualizes what his life could be like with a few adjustments is when trouble starts to arise. Balram and everyone else like him in his situation know that you have to accomplish some careless, un-humane act to eventually be converted into at the spot desired. Weather that act be murder of an owner, or sabotage of a master, reckless actions like what Balram did were taken.


In Slum Dog Millionaire, the mind set is “work hard and your goals will be achieved.” In our reality and especially not in White Tiger is life all rainbows and flowers. The taxi divers in the community Balram live in certainly know that if you want something you do not posses, or want to be someone you are not, actions are taken where the final result is the corruption on ones self. The dishonesty and the distortion these men put themselves though take it to the point where they do not care and will do anything to attain what they want. Throughout the story Balram becomes less and less of a good person, and looses most if not all of his morals by killing Ashok. He knew what he wanted, and where he wanted to go, and from that, he took drastic actions that were not just hard work.





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