Aravind Adiga’s novel The White Tiger encapsulates the complexities of identity formation in a milieu effected by neo-capitalism. The novel, for many, is about a new identity made available to the hitherto marginalized in the form of opportunities unveiled by market forces. It is also perceived as a registration of the frustration and anger of the deprived that has become conscious of the new possibilities. Understandably, interpreting the novel on these lines leads to the identification of the protagonist Balram as a champion of the marginalized, settling scores with the oppressive system

However, there are far subtler notes in the protagonist’s attitude to these sweeping changes than the simple and one dimensional approach of an achiever who is able to break the “rooster coop” and revel at the reversal of fortune. Neither is it a representative voice of the suppressed class turning the table on its oppressor by using the opportunities offered by the global market. The “notes” of the voices that emerge as Balram, the boy from darkness, moves up the ladder to become Ashok Sharma, the entrepreneur hiding in light, not only lack symphony but also create a distinct dissonance. Clearly, the discord in the changing notes is brought about by the forces that changed the world he lives in—a neo-capitalist world. The whole process of Balram turning into Ashok Sharma is a neocapitalist coup.


Arts and Humanities | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Adiga, Aravind. The White Tiger. New Delhi: Harper, 2008. Print

Ceaser, Ed. “News Review Interview: Aravind Adiga.” The Sunday Times 19 Oct. 2008. Web. 25 Oct. 2011

Mattin, David. “The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga.” Rev. of The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga. The Independent 11 May 2008. Web. 23 Oct. 2011

Molly, Joseph M. “‘The Great Indian Rooster Coop’: A Postcolonial Entry into Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger.” Littcrit 35.1–2 (2009): 76–80. Print

Singh, Krishna. “Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger: The Voice of Underclass— A Postcolonial Dialectics.” Journal of Literature, Culture and Media Studies 1.2 (2009): 98–112. Print

Taras, Ray. “Review: Aravind Adiga’s ‘The White Tiger.’” Campaign for the American Reader 29 May 2008. Web. 26 Oct. 2011

First Page


Last Page