The White Tiger

The Corrupted Society Of Mankind
Nothing in life is fully guaranteed, however all we wish for is to be treated equally in a normal society. When people begin to mistreat others is truly when society beings to corrupt. In Aravind Adiga’s, ‘The White Tiger’, the author begins to exploit the main reasons why people are treated so differently in our community today. Through many incidents that Balram encounters, each one portrays the human inequality rights around the world. Balram establishes three different human inequality rights such as discrimination, racism and slavery through his own person experiences.

Balram proves through his own personal experience of how being discriminated can greatly impact the lives of humans. To begin, Balram goes door to door looking for a job as a driver to support his family. The individual is quick to comment about Balram’s caste and has this to say, “only a boy from the warrior castes can manage that. Muslims, Rajputs, Sikhs—they’re fighters, they can become drivers” (Adiga, 47). The individual that Balram approaches is quick to narrow down the castes of people that he wants to work for him.

Therefore, when he finds out that Balram is a Halwai, he quickly neglects Balram as he does not think someone of Balram’s caste can fulfill his duties as a driver. Furthermore, after somebody is finally interested in hiring Balram as a driver, they have one last question for him. The question is, “halwai… What caste is that, top or bottom” (53). The future as a driver for Balram depends on one last question about something that should not even matter. Everyone that interviews him is so blinded by his religion that they overlook his true potential as a driver. Moreover, Balram finally obtains a job as a driver but his fellow driver is soon fired based on being a Muslim. When his co- driver is fired, it leaves Balram with thoughts such as, “what a miserable life he’s had, having to hide his religion, his name just to get a job as a driver” (93). Balram shows sympathy for his fellow driver because he cannot make a living in the world just because he is a Muslim. This man must silence his own beliefs to make it somewhere in the world. In conclusion, people overlook somebody’s true potential just because of their race.

Throughout the book, Balram is introduced to two different social spectrums,
the rich and the poor. He abruptly finds out the difference in life when you are on either side of the spectrum. Firstly, Balram establishes the difference in physical appearance between the rich and the poor. While describing the differences, Balram says, “a rich man’s body is like a premium cotton pillow, white and soft and blanks. Ours are different… The story of a poor man’s life is written on his body, in sharp pen” (22). Balram justifies that the excruciating work the poor endure leaves a story on their body. However, he describes the rich’s bodies as nice pillows because they do not endure the physical pain that the poor have to go through. Secondly, Balram reflects on the different destinies from the past to the present. Balram states, “these days, there are just two castes: Men with Big bellies, and men with small bellies.

And only two destinies: eat- or get eaten up” (54). Balram identifies that there are only two extremes, the poor and the lords, nothing in between. It is the rich’s destiny to eat on the souls of the poor by making life harder for them, and it is the poor’s destiny to avoid being used by the rich. Moreover, Balram begins to identify that the dreams of the rich and the poor, never seem to overlap. Balram explains, “the poor dream all their lives of getting enough to eat and looking like the rich. And what do the rich dream of? Losing weight and looking like the poor” (191). Balram finds it quite ironic that the rich dream of looking like the poor, and the poor dream of looking like the rich. He establishes that once you have everything that you ever wanted, you begin to lose value in life which is the main difference between the rich and poor. In conclusion, both sides of the social spectrums are treated differently and have different destinies.

Balram illustrates the slavery that still exists in the world and explains how you can escape it. Initially, Balram begins to complain about the lack of freedom he has, even if he is a driver. Balram complains about, “… anytime I was not driving the car, I had to sweep the floor of the courtyard, make tea… or chase a cow out of the compound” (58). Even though Balram is only hired as a driver, he is still treated like a slave. Every chance Balram gets to take a break, he is forced to do tasks around the house besides the fact it is not his responsibility. Furthermore, Balram explains how anywhere you go, you are still considered a slave.

Balram’s reason is, “we have left the village, but the masters still own us, body, soul and arse” (169). Balram means that even if you relocate yourself, you are still owned by your master. No matter how far you travel, you will not have any freedom rights because the only way to be free is to be your own master. Lastly, Balram finally figures out how to escape slavery to lead a better life. His answer to escape slavery is, “once you realize what is beautiful in this world, you stop being a slave” (236). This means that even if you are brought out of the darkness and into the light side of the city, you are still a slave. However, the only way to truly escape slavery is to consider the wonders of life and what a beautiful place it is to live in. Once you appreciate the nature of the world, you stop thinking yourself as a slave. In summary, Balram establishes the slavery that still exists in the world; however the only way to escape slavery is to enjoy living.

In conclusion, Balram illustrates the disadvantages of being discriminated against, slavery and the differences of life when you are either rich or poor through his own personal experiences. In ‘The White Tiger’ the author establishes why people are treated so differently in our world today. As humans, nothing is promised but when people begin to segregate each other is when problems truly start to arise to corrupt our world.

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