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The White Tiger

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ESSEC ESSAY NO.9

Select a work of art, a film or a literary work that you particularly admire and write about it in such a way that the reader can share your interest for it

I have come across some interesting books which have often left a lasting impression on me. I would like to share my thoughts about a fictional novel called The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga that won the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2008.

The story is about a young boy, Balram, son of a rickshaw puller who stays in a small village in India. Unfortunately due to financial constraint, Balram is pulled out of school and made to work in a tea shop. The author superbly describes one part of India as "The Dark" which includes the rural areas, the tea shop where people gather to gossip and the movies they watch starring "blonde haired beauties".

The silver lining for Balram comes in the form of a job as a chauffeur in Delhi. Here again the author describes the other part of India- "The Light". Delhi is a city of revelation with its huge shopping malls, traffic jams and fast lifestyle. Balram is a poor man with a conscience who wishes to help his family by sending them money. He also views himself as a loyal servant to his master whom he loves and adores. Yet there is another dimension to him which makes him want to break free and become successful and rich. Moving to a large city corrupts Balram and exposes him to immorality galore (the bribing of government officers, alcohol and womanising). Balram begins to see an escape route and one day slits his master's throat for a paltry sum with which he goes on to become a successful entrepreneur.

The reason I picked this particular literary work was because of the manner in which it described my country India in a darkly humorous sense and how it brilliantly gained the sympathy of the reader for a murderer!

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