The main character in The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga is Balram Halwai, who is also the narrator. The textbook’s introduction offers a backstory about Balram, telling us that, although he was clever, he was forced to leave school and start working at a young age. While working as a driver for a rich man’s son, Ashok, Balram kills Ashok and takes his money. Then, Balram starts a new life in Bangalore.

In the story, Balram also focuses on the characterization of Indian servants, whom he compares to the frightened roosters in a market coop. Just like the roosters who know their fate and cannot do anything to change it, the poor Indian servants are oppressed into obedience and do not dare change their lives. The Indian servants are described only from Balram’s point of view, so his prejudices might well influence his interpretation of them.

You can read a full characterization of Balram and the Indian servants in the following pages.