Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger tells the story of Balram Halwai and how he got away with the murder of his master, Mr. Ashok. A common theme throughout the novel is questioning the validity of religious devotion and the idolization of a servant’s master. In The White Tiger, Balram appears religious when spending time with wealthy, powerful individuals, such as Mr. Ashok, or following Indian traditions, but switches to impious when he is focusing on self-gain. Ultimately, Adiga argues through Balram’s inconsistent infidelity that religion in India has lost its meaning and is simply a tool used to create hierarchies in society, such as master versus servant and servant versus servant. When Balram tells retrospective or outlandish stories, he always seems to portray himself as religiously skeptical in order to satirize and criticize the uselessness of religion in modern-day India and the hierarchies it forms.
He has condemned injustice and exploitation. He delineates a definite grasp of the psychology of untouchables and high caste Hindus. In his dealings with the sweepers, the high caste Hindus possess the feeling of strong class superiority and this feeling refuses to provide equal position to untouchables and accepts them as animals. It is this that creates the temple Priest Pandit Kali Nath as supreme authority in the society. The novelist realistically portraits the poor plight of the untouchables and offers solutions to the social evils.
Subaltern studies derive its force as postcolonial criticism from a catachrestic combination of Marxism, Post-Structuralism, Gramsci and Foucault, the modern west and India, archival research and textual criticism (Jameson, 1986: 65-88; Arif Dirlik, 1997: 55). The concept of subalternity has invaded in Indian society in the form of patriarchy, casteism, gender discrimination and through the marginalization of the week and untouchables. Masculinity and casteism are deciding factors which control the society at large (Andal, 2002: 33). Male egoism, Indian women’s sensibility and colonial legacy have also greatly contributed to the process of subalternization. Subalternization has tremendously affected the feminine sensibility, the individual psyche and the society at large.
Orwell tells his readers about the many thousands of Buddhist priests who lived in this settlement, and of their especially intense hatred for the British. Orwell talks of their constant jeering, and subtle acts of rebellion. He tells his readers many times of how he agreed with their sentiment, that he believed the British had no business governing India. However, he does mention that he "thought that the greatest joy in the world would be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest 's guts. So while he knew how these people were wronged, he still resented them for making his life
The first reason that led to Okonkwo 's fate was that he struggled throughout his entire childhood. Unoka, who is Okonkwo’s father, was a failure. His wife and children did not have enough foods to eat and he owed almost every villager money (Achebe, 5). Life was hard for Okonkwo because Unoka was a lazy father who did not bother to think about his future. Okonkwo was not able to focus on other events because he was busy trying to feed and support his family.
Echoing a tone synonymous with the political elite that gave political freedom to the nation after independence but denied its citizens the economic freedom to claw their way out of poverty, Asok, the US educated feudal scion in The White Tiger shudders at the prospect of parliamentary democracy in the hands of half-baked Indians like Balram. Whereas, Balram takes pride in being a half-baked entrepreneur “born and raised in Darkness” (The White Tiger, 10). There are many in India who have not been able to finish their schooling but stuffed with too many half formed ideas picked up randomly from school books, soiled newspapers, and from snatches of radio bulletins. According to Balram a potpourri such ideas turn these half-baked men into entrepreneurs and since the odds are loaded against them, such men must school themselves with experiments in falsehood as opposed to the Gandhian experiments with truth. Balram admits that he has always been a liar, and it is by lying that he has ensured his existence in a fiercely competitive world.
The silencing of language by autocratic dictatorial leaders is an abuse of power that has brutal consequences on society. The consequent destruction of creativity and individual expression leads to submission and a collective inability to revolt against such despots. The displays of corruption by these leaders is demonstrated through their mass manipulations of the collective, which are enforced by oppression and dehumanisation. Throughout the twentieth century, there was significant social and political upheaval as a consequence of rapid industrialisation, war, and extreme class disparity. The dangers of such regimes are explored in the futuristic, dystopian worlds of Fritz Lang’s, Metropolis and George Orwell’s, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak explains the subaltern’s emotion in her most famous essay, Can the Subaltern Speak? (1985); the subaltern cannot speak until their conditions may not be historically improved. In literature subaltern is a post-colonial concept which means the term generally used to explain the people who belonging to the lower caste, class, weak sex and economically poor groups in the society. Due to the domination and superiority of upper class communities, the subaltern classes were compelled to do menial jobs like cleaning human excrements, sweeping roads,
Major characters of the novel like Cook, Judge- Jemubhai Patel and Biju represent subaltern groups. Judge, Jemubhai Patel, is a curious case of degraded human, who lost his wife, family, identity, belief and his soul. What left in him is that “he envied the English. He loathed Indians. He worked at being English with the passion of hatred and for what he would become; he would be despised by absolutely everyone, English and Indian, both (Desai 119).
The main theme of the novel is the suppression of a deprived teenager by the diverse forces of the Indian society, which followed a rigid system of class and believed in oppressing the humiliating and poor boy having no fault. Exploitation in this were of two types of economic and social. Indian community as such was involved in religious and domestic exploitation while colonial powers were responsible for the industrial exploitation and feudal capitalistic suppression. P.K. Rajan has rightly observed in his comparative study of Untouchable and Coolie says that the main focus of both the novels is enticed with the same theme.