The Concept of Fate as Portrayed in The White Tiger

In Aravind Adiga’s “The White Tiger,” fate is portrayed in India as being a bleak future for those who do not rank highly in society. The protagonist, Balram, rejects this idea and feels suppressed in his life of being a servant, so develops his destiny through some choice decisions that effectively break him free from servitude. These decisions came with changes to his morals and would be more than questionable to most Western readers. With the novel being written in the first person, empathy is directed towards Balram and it is made easy to justify his thoughts and actions in certain situations which lead him to gain the ability to shape his own identity.

The caste system in India had peoples fates pre-determined, and Balram recounts people being “happy” when everyone had a purpose and place in life. “the day the British left” allowednew social structure promises, but instead created two new social divisions; “Men with Big Bellies and Men with Small Bellies”, (rich and poor). Balram recognises the possibility of moving up in the world by having idolised Vijay from a young boy, but soon realises major sacrifices have to be made to change your fate and become a Big Bellied Man. Having it seemed no other choice than to kill his master and betray his family; Balram now has the life he had dreamed of despite being born into not only a low caste but the Darkness, where his future was one of endless servitude to the rich.

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The fate of Balram would have been significantly different if he had stuck to his obedient-village-boy type morals and not manipulated them to meet his desire of living in the Light. Balram didn’t want his destiny to be the same as his fathers or kishans, who both aged quickly due to their heavy work and poor living conditions. Both Balrams father, Kishan and the rest of Balrams family had moral values that ultimately kept them out of trouble and kept within the bounds of the legal limitations of society…