The Indian servants

In the first excerpt of The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, Balram talks about how he sees poor Indian servants. These Indian servants are not given any individual features, and instead, Balram highlights their common traits. Therefore, the Indian servants represent a collective character.

Balram characterizes poor Indian servants using the metaphor of the Rooster Coop (p. 291, l. 8):

Hundreds of pale hens and brightly coloured roosters, stuffed tightly into wire-mesh cages, packed as tightly as worms in a belly, pecking each other and shitting on each other, jostling just for breathing space (…) They see the organs of their brothers lying around them. They know what’s next. Yet they do not rebel. (p. 291, ll. 10-19)

The Indian servants are described as being frantic, living in miserable conditions, yet unable to change their lives. In Balram’s opinion, this “perpetual servitude” (p. 292, l. 27) is “the basis of the entire Indian economy” (p....

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