Style of language

The language used by Aravind Adiga in The White Tiger mirrors the diverse atmosphere of India and reinforces the idea that Balram is writing a letter. The narrative is written in the style of a letter, which is why it is worth looking at typical features of letters. Such an example is the use of direct address – “including you, Mr Jiabao” (p. 293, l. 44), “Sir” (p. 293, l. 18), etc. Rhetorical questions are also used with the purpose of making the Chinese premier think about the issues that affect Balram (p. 293, ll. 35-39).

The opening address and the sign off are also typical features of letters. Balram opens his letter with a formal “Mr Jiabao. Sir” (p. 291, ll. 1-2), which gives readers the illusion that he may know the Chinese premier. The sign off, although formal, contains Balram’s invented name and the identity of the White Tiger, which he adopts (p. 295, ll. 25-29).

The narrative is filled with irony, which Balram mostly directs towards Indians and their submissiveness: “you can put the key of his emancipation in a man's hands and he will throw it back at you with a curse.” (p. 292, ll. 27-29). Balram is also ironic when he talks about Indians' attachment to their families, which he believes leads to them accepting their social status:

 Why doesn't that servant take the suitcase full of diamo...

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