Anatomy of a Book: White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Premier Jiabao is coming to Bangalore next week,”… (p.2)

And this is why the White Tiger begins to dictate his life story into a computer.

It is a little before midnight now, Mr. Jiabao. A good time for me to talk. (p.5)

And talk he does, with very good enunciation. He even speaks with parentheses.

a servant on the morning of the day this poster was made. (By the evening I was free… (p.19)

This book won the Man Booker Prize. It has good grammar and pleasant sentences, but the topic dominates the story. This partly because the narrator’s voice feels false, and that is because the author’s purpose is foremost. This costs the story success in other elements.

Changing Status:

From The Darkness of India to the height of Bangalore, the narrating character rises in social status. This change is vaguely presented as the goal, yet the status in the voice of the narrator actually remains mostly stable. It does not convey a change, and change occurs it is not handled with subtly.

High Stakes:

The arching issue is that the narrator could have remained a servant, and he compares his life to that of those in India who will never change status.

Page Turner:

While there is a time element here that might force pace into the tale, yet there is no feeling of the character being rushed. Instead the character takes his time. There are small moments of jeopardy, where the conclusion of the event is desired to be known, but these are limited. The main reason to turn the page is to find out more about the world the narrator lives in.

Believable Characters:

Most characters are drawings. They’re there to represent an archetype. The author is aiming to show life in India on a general scale. If unique characters were created then the generalness of the message would be lost.

Educate:

Here is the primary element of the book. It is a tale about life in India. It is a means for the author to show the lives, mental state and failures of India. This factor is the most successfully achieved element of the book, and is the main reason to read it. As it says,

If anyone knows the truth about Bangalore, it’s me. (p.2)

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