First excerpt

The first excerpt from The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga opens with the direct address “Mr Jiabao, Sir” (p. 291, ll. 2-3), which suggests that the overall structure is that of a letter to then-Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. It is not clear in this fragment why Balram is writing to the Premier, or whether the letter will ever be sent.

Balram focuses on the mentality of poor Indians, particularly on the mentality of servants. Balram compares servants to roosters in a coop, which becomes a repeated metaphor in the first part of the narrative. At the same time, this is also a narrative hook, as readers do not initially und…


Second excerpt

The second excerpt of the story is also written in the traditional letter structure and focuses on how Balram sees the city of Bangalore. In a flashforward, he presents two possibilities for the city – a pessimistic one and an optimistic one:

When the veil is lifted, what will Bangalore be like? Maybe it will be a disaster: slums, sewage, shopping malls, traffic jams, policemen. But you never know. It may turn out to be a decent city, where humans can live like humans and animals can live like animals. A new Bangalore for a new India. (p. 293, ll. 28-33)

Balram also expresses his pride in being part of the “New Bangalore” (p. 293, l. 34) and, implicitly, of a new India. He is proud that he is an entrepreneur, and he expresses his wish to see more people following his example:

Haven’t I succeeded in the struggle that every …

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