Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

It's not fair really to compare Aravind Adiga and Arundhati Roy. Yet. They are both angry. They are both Booker prize winners. So I just couldn't help it....


Aravind Adiga's White Tiger is angry. Angry in a way Arundhati Roy can never be. You see, he is angry in the present tense. Roy is full of nostalgia for lost art forms and pre-World Bank times while being angry at the restrictive conventions of patriarchal traditional lifestyles. She is angry with most of the past and angry with the present for having lost the good bits of the past. The white tiger is relentlessly angry about what he endures now - crushing poverty. A dilapidated old fort near his village means nothing to him. Some poetry allows him breathing space and the strength to break out of the 'rooster coop'. Lost art forms wouldn't move him in the slightest.
The white tiger is also full of annoying cliches, his story hurtles on at an entirely disreputable pace for a literary novel, he is afraid of lizards. What a fucking joke. He keeps saying these first words he learns in English about a lot of things. I agree.
Also, what a relief to read the story of a driver instead of the angsty tales of those who get driven in cars. I like Balram because he is angry and dislike Adiga for all the politically correct reasons - the annoying cliches about poverty, India and China do NOT get validated because they are opinions held by your angry young protagonist. I like Roy because she is so angry but, by gods and all the little fishes, her characters are annoying in their impotence.

1 comment:

ramasamy said...

what a fucking joke/
i hate roy coz she symbolize herself as the motherer of these fucking colonial psyche. but i love adiga coz he symbolize not the role of a fatherer but the co-traveler of this post modern globalized cliche

That's the difference
roy is an evangelist by all her norms, forms and content though its an political column or rebel like masking, but adiga used to have a different verse that is just get going the scene without his personal blabbing that is the major difference. the critic better note the variance at least at his/her view points

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