Feedback About Us Archives Interviews Book Reviews Short Stories Poems Articles Home

ISSN: 0974-892X


July, 2016



Exploring the Dynamic Genius of Aravind Adiga   Through the Critical Study of The White Tiger

Dr. Ashok K. Saini
Department of English Language & Literature,Prince Sattam Bin Abdul Aziz University (Wadi Al-Dawasir Campus) Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Aravind Adiga is considered today as one of the most distinguished Indian English writers who enjoy the privilege of winning the most prestigious Man Booker Prize for his debut novel The White Tiger in the year 2008. Through this novel, Adiga magnificently highlights the ever widening space among the rich and poors, the rural and the urban, and the brutal reality of a system that allows a small minority to prosper at the expense of the silent majority. Adiga through his uneducated and unprivileged protagonists Balram Halwai narrates the whole story who came from India’s vast rural hinterland. The present research paper attempts to delineate and outline the most important issues as well as the dynamic genius of Aravind Adiga through the critical study of his debut novel The White Tiger. Aravind Adiga is the fifth Indian novelist who got the distinction of achieving the Man Booker Prize amoung V.S.Naipaul for In a Free State, 1971, Salman Rushdie for Midnight’s Children, 1981, Arundhati Roy for The God of Small Things, 1971 and Kiran Desai for The Inheritance of Loss in 2006. Salman Rushdie besides received the Booker of Bookers for his Midnight’s Children in 2008 on 40th Year of the establishment of the most prestigious Booker Prize.

Arvind Adiga born in Chennai and brought up in Mangalore has achieved his Bachelors degree at Columbia University and subsequently his Masters at Oxford University. After a stint in New York, he was in New Delhi as Time’s correspondent, a Job he quit in late 2005, the year when Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited India. Adiga has traveled widely through the different parts of India including places where Indian backwardness has stunned his receptivity. Through this novel Adiga has geared up an attack on the cheerful and false notion of a new transformed India. It explores and exposes the inequalities between India’s aggressively consumerist urban elite and the deprived rural poor, and shows what happens when people from these two classes collide and collude with each other (Saini, Ashok, K., 2012).

Adiga narrates a desolate tale of contemporary India in which the flawed protagonist Balram Halwai, makes the dubious drive from the obscurity of rural India to uncertain entrepreneurial accomplishment. Adiga wittily bypasses the superlatives of the economic boom to reveal India that is savage and murky. It strips away the coating of a immaculate country to divulge a society that is stuck in sleaze and discrimination; where the underprivileged are perpetually the victims of a vicious class system. Undeniably, Adiga reveals a brilliant and unflinching vision of modern India ‒ presented in the form of seven letters to the visiting Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao by the murderous protagonist before a highly sanitized state visit.

Adiga extraordinarily and most sharply justifies the passion and plot of this novel. He reveals, “At a time when India is going to great changes and with China, is likely to inherit the world from West, it is important that writers like me try to highlight the brutal injustices of society…the great divine.” It goes without saying that Adiga in The White Tiger reveals a brutal confession of its protagonist who exposes the rot in the three pillars of modern India – democracy, enterprise, and justice ‒ reducing them to the third clichés of a faltering nation. Gurucharan Das, a distinguished writer and critic, analyses this as a good book in his own critical framework, “A book should not be judged on the basis of whether it creates a positive or negative picture of a country. It should be seen as a work of and judged on its literary merits. If it’s a good book, it’s a good book and it deserves an award.” 

Adiga has most earnestly designed The White Tiger as a true epitome of contemporary society and in advance reveals India as not shining and, despite its claims of a booming economy; it is still ‘the near-heart of darkness’, which it has been since time-immemorial. It is, on the other hand, momentous to cite that linguistically The White Tiger is a magnificent work of art. The portrayal of the drive to the inherited village in Darkness is a clean and fine piece writing: “We drove along a river, and then the tar road came to an end and I took them along a bumpy track, and then through a small marketplace with three more or less identical shops, selling more or less identical items of kerosene, incense, and rice. Everyone stared at us. Some children began running alongside the car. Mr. Ashok waved at them, and tried to get Pinky Madam to do the same”. It may be stated that the first – person narrative of The White Tiger does not simply keep Adiga invisible; it constructs a sociological discourse without once ever sounding didactic. The White Tiger’s vigor happen from many things — the intellectual and innovative reworking of otherwise proverbial and well-worn themes, a witty account, stratagem and milieu, a mercilessly cynical attitude, the unconscious stimulation from Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright exclusive of illuminating the apprehension of power. Consequently Adiga in The White Tiger reveals the new India in our de facto father tongue that speaks in a voice that Adiga have accomplished in the course of insightful scrutiny and investigations.

Conclusion :

In short, Adiga’s sharply narrated novel The White Tiger is strikingly valiant account of contemporary society and in addition it beats the odds with its remarkable influence and its magnanimous revelation of an India. Adiga most dexterously recreates the India of Light and the India of Darkness, nevertheless The White Tiger reveals those touch and contradictory spots where the two meet and overlap. Despite the facts Adiga successfully illustrates India having an intense divide between the rich and the poor.

Works Cited

Adiga, Aravind. The White Tiger. New Delhi: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008.
Das, Gurucharan. The Times Of India. October19th, 2008, New Delhi.
Kumar, Amitava. On Adiga’s The White Tiger, published in The Hindu. November 2nd, 2008. New Delhi.
Kundera, Milan. (1985). The Art of the Novel.
Naik, M.K. The Journal of Indian Writing in English. Vol. 36, No 1, Jan. 2008.
_______; (2001). Indian English Literature 1980-2000: A Critical Survey, New Delhi: Pencraft International.
Paul, Sudeep. White Light published in The Indian Express. October 16th, 2008. New Delhi.
Saini, Ashok, K., (2012). Booker Prize Winning Writers of The World : Estimation & Expression,” Germany : Lambert Academic Publisher.
Saxena, Shobhan. Times of India. October 19th, 2008. New Delhi.
Suroor, Hasan; “Adiga: Protagonist Partly Inspired by Rickshaw Man.” Hindu, London 16th Oct. 2008.