The following is in response to Aravind Adiga’s “The White Tiger.”
What better way to show the rapidly growing economy of India and the sort of life you must live to strive in it, to become an “entrepreneur,” than through the eyes of Balram. Aravind Adiga’s unusual hero depicts the state of India and his role in it with such ambition and charisma that you can’t help but get into head and see things his way—at least I did and Balram’s India is one of endless hardships, a few quick pleasures, many moral sacrifices. Of darkness.
To become the owner of his own taxi company Balram had to live as a slave for a long, massaging his master Mr. Ashok’s feet. He slept with cockroaches because that’s what the working class is in this book. The grown is giving birth to buildings upon buildings, ugly monsters of rebar and cement, caging in everyone like chickens in a coop. Balram murdered his master and used the money that Mr. Ashok was going to use to pay off political leaders to create his taxi business. Adiga seems to be saying, “you can make it in this world, but not without sacrificing yourself.”