Balram Halwai

Outer characterization

Balram Halwai is the main character of the novel The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. Balram’s backstory, which is given before the excerpts in your textbook, helps construct his outer characterization. Balram was born in a modest family and was forced to abandon school to find work. After working in a tea shop, Balram becomes the driver of a rich man’s son, Ashok. After a while, Balram kills Ashok, steals his money, and starts a company in Bangalore.

At the time of the narrative, Balram is a “social entrepreneur” (p. 293, l. 9) and the head of a company which employs drivers in Bangalore. The excerpts in your textbook do not explain whether he is single or married, but we know that Balram is “ready to have children” (p. 295, l. 22).

Although he mentions that his name is Balram, he signs the letter with the name of Ashok Sharma (p. 295, l. 26), probably because he associates his new identity with the murder of his master, Ashok. He also calls himself “The White Tiger of Bangalore” (p. 295, ll. 27-28). His work e-mail is (p. 295, l. 29), further highlight...

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