The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. Antagonist Analysis
Balram a revolutionary in Adiga’s The White Tiger
Balram Halwai, the anti-hero protagonist Aravind Adiga’s epistolary novel is a revolutionary in Bangalore. First, to be a revolutionary, you have to be special and Balram is the White Tiger of his generation. Second, Balram starts as a servant and climbs his way up the ladder and becomes a master. Lastly, Balram begins the novel as a social entrepreneur and then at the end becomes a business entrepreneur.
As a revolutionary, you cannot be an average Joe who wants to make a change; you need to be a special person who comes along maybe once in a generation. Balram is told early on his life that he is special, unique and the white tiger of his generation.
“You, young man, are an intelligent, honest,vivacious fellow in this crowd of thugs and idiots. In any jungle, what is the rarest of animals – the creature that comes along only once in a generation?”
“The white tiger”
“That’s what you are, in this jungle.”
This means Balram was born and raised in the darkness where the idea of a child with future is not likely but is an exception. In Bangalore most people are idiots and thugs, He is different from any other person because Balram is intelligent and a revolutionary. Balram is not any average Joe who just goes with the flow but he marches at his own beat. Any, other guy in Bangalore would just stick with the life he was born into, but Balram wanted to be something different, something only a unique man could do. He is the white tiger of Bangalore and he is the only person in Bangalore who can be a revolutionary.
Balram’s brains and uniqueness help him be a revolutionary in the world of Bangalore. In India, there are more servants than masters. Whichever position you are born into, usually mean that’s where you are going to stay. Balram starts out as a second driver, and works his way up the servant ladder and becomes the main driver. “ I was servant number one from now on in this household”. He is moving up the ladder faster than he should, and he finds ways to do it so he can keep his nose clean. He works his way up to the point where his master and him are almost equal.To fully become a master and finally stop being a servent Balram knew what he had to do to accomplish it.“But isn’t it likely that everyone in this world…has killed someone or other on their way to the top?…All I wanted was a chance to be a man–and for that, one murder is enough.” To be a revolutionary you need to commit crimes and this murder was part of Balram’s agenda. He had to kill Ashok so he can finally break free from his chains and become his a master. Balram’s goal as a revolutionary was to do the impossible to break the caste system in India, and start as a servant and become a master.
Lastly, Balram is a revolutionary because in the tough country of India he started as a social entrepreneur and then becomes as business entrepreneur. He often refers to himself as tomorrow or the next thing. “ I am tomorrow.” He is telling Mr. Jiabao that he is the future of being an entrepreneur, and that if he wants to know how to be an entrepreneur he should just ask Balram. He speaks about how to be a entrepreneur and what he says refers directly to what he does. “To break the law of his land, to turn bad news into good news, is the entrepreneur’s prerogative.” He has confidence in himself as an entrepreneur and pretty much says he is the best in Bangalore. He wants to be a self made man and make his want to the top. He is being revolutionary because most people in India are not entrepreneur but not only is he a social entrepreneur but his goal is to be a business entrepreneur. After he kills Ashok he takes the rupees and starts his own company and begins his life as a business entrepreneur. “ Then it hit me. I wasn’t alone- I had someone on my side! I had thousands on my side!” Balram has now made the full transformation into a business entrepreneur, and does what any entrepreneur would do and he bribed the police to drive the other companies out of business. Balram started the story out as a little kid and then became the best social entrepreneur in Bangalore and then became a successful business entrepreneur.
In Adiga’s novel Balram could be seen as a criminal or a revolutionary. Balram has committed crimes of murder and theft, but that is truly necessary if you want whatever your cause is to be successful. For example during the revolutionary war, many American patriots committed crimes against the king, for their cause. Thus, Balram did these actions because they were part of his plan to succeed a be a revolutionary.
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