The White Tiger

By Aravind Adiga

A Brief Re-Cap

The protagonist is born in Laxmangarh as an untouchable. He grew up with a controlling grandmother and a father who worked his life away for him to attend school, in hopes that he will become successful in the future. The protagonist then decides that he wants a better life than his slum life and moves to Delhi, India to become a "driver" for a man named Mr. Ashok. After a few obstacles and struggles as a servant, he finally makes a leap of faith to better his future. He finally ends up in Bangalore as a successful taxi manager for his own company.

Main Characters

Balram Halwai (White Tiger/ Munna) - the protagonist, later takes the name after his master "Ashok Sharma," courageous

Mr. Ashok - Balram's master, a diplomatic man who believes in a better and democratic India

Pinky Madam - Ashok's wife, leaves him for America, represents the stereotypical America - hypocritical yet sympathetic

Kusum - Balram's grandmother, controlling, overpowering

Kishan - Balram's brother, just like father, lets Kusum manipulate his life

Ram Persad - secretly muslim, Ashok's first driver, exposed by Balram, kicked out, poor role model

Dharam - Balram's nephew, grows up wealthy and smart, raised like-a-son, acts just like Balram- sly

Literary Elements

Themes and Purposes


  • from Darkness to Light
  • Rags to Riches
  • willing to take risks'


  • culture/tradition
  • corruption