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Animal Imagery In The White Tiger By Aravind Adiga

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Through the life of Balram and his journey from rags to riches in The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga attempts to portray, in an exaggerated form, the daily life and corruption of India. One of the most prominent literary devices that Adiga incorporates into the novel is animal imagery. The title of the novel, certain characters, and the societal hierarchy as a whole are among the many aspects of the novel that are related to animals. Through this imagery, Adiga highlights the eat or be eaten, jungle lifestyle that encompasses India. The most apparent animal imagery is introduced to the reader before the novel is even opened. The title, The White Tiger, obviously refers to the jungle cat. The white tiger is seen as the smartest and most noble animal in the wild. These characteristics create a special aura around the white tiger. In the novel, Balram is referred to as the white tiger by his teacher in school. Balram’s teacher states, “‘You, young man, are an intelligent, honest, vivacious fellow in this crowd of thugs and idiot,’” and goes on to assign him the nickname of the white tiger (30). Balram describes India as being divided into two distinct sections that he calls the light and the dark. Those in the light are those with wealth and power, while those in the darkness are the repressed and poor of the society. Balram was born into a family that was not the elite of the society. His father was a rickshaw puller and thus, despite Balram’s intelligence, he lived
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