The White Tiger Essay

1477 Words Jan 22nd, 2013 6 Pages
A Soul Built Through Pain and Suffering.

Similar to imprints on sand or carvings in wood, character is moulded and developed by indents - through pain and suffrage. In the novel, The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga explores the dark realities of India’s caste system with a story of a man who broke through the division. The quote by Helen Keller, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved,” is seen through Balram’s journey as he overcomes obstacles to achieve his success. Adiga illustrates that one cannot see true light of a strong soul, inspired ambition and success, without the struggles of being in true darkness and
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The negligence of human life desensitized Balram at a young age and strengthened his soul by realizing the dog-eat-dog society he lives in. Following his father’s death, Balram soon realizes he doesn’t only live in a dog-eat-dog society, but a dog-eat-dog home, too. Balram reminisces on his encounter with his brother and notes: I couldn’t stop thinking of Kishan’s body. They were eating him alive in there! They would do the same thing to him that they did to father - scoop him out from the inside and leave him weak and helpless until he got tuberculosis and died on the floor of a government hospital...” (Adiga 74)
Balram recognizes that the women he used to live with before becoming a driver - especially his grandmother - use the men for hard labour to provide for the family, wearing them down to the bone. His grandmother’s further letters of blackmail demanding money from Balram are another clear example of selfishness within the family. This realization strengthens Balram’s soul even more by teaching him that he is truly alone and that no one - not even his own family - is willing or wanting to help guide him forward. If he is going to make it out of the darkness, Balram knows it will have to be on his own.

Consequently, the pain and suffering triggered Balram’s ambition to veer the direction of his predetermined life of poverty into something more. Balram uses the rooster coop as his

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