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The White Tiger: Challenges Of Urbanization

4326 words - 17 pages

Recent years have witnessed a large number of Indian English fiction writers who have stunned the literary world with their works. The topics dealt with are contemporary and populist and the English is functional, communicative and unpretentious. Novels have always served as a guide, a beacon in a conflicting, chaotic world and continue to do so. A careful study of Indian English fiction writers show that there are two kinds of writers who contribute to the genre of novels: The first group of writers include those who are global Indians, the diasporic writers, who are Indians by birth but have lived abroad, so they see Indian problems and reality objectively. The second group of writers are those born and brought up in India, exposed to the attitudes, morale and values of the society. Hence their works focus on the various social problems of India like the plight of women, unemployment, poverty, class discrimination, social dogmas, rigid religious norms, inter caste marriages, breakdown of relationships etc.
Lately Indian novelist has shifted from rural to metro India, which is the living soul of the country. The problems of urbanization and the problems faced by the people of metro India find a powerful expression in Indian English fiction.
Aravind Adiga’s debut novel The White Tiger published in 2008, and a winner of Booker Prize examines the issues of religion, caste, loyalty, corruption, urbanization and poverty in India. The novel besides receiving critical acclaim was also lambasted by some in India for giving in to western prejudices and playing up to their image of a poverty stricken, slum governed country. Some even went to the extent of calling it a western conspiracy to deny the country’s economic progress. It seems like a tourist’s account of India, the poverty depicted seems to mock and humiliate the so called booming economy of modern India (Saxena 9).
Amitava Kumar finds The White Tiger inauthentic and states that after Rushdie many non resident Indian authors have taken refuge in magical realism and have gone farther into in authenticity. He finds the villains depicted by Adiga to be cartoonish and the depiction of ordinary people to be offensive and far removed from reality. (Kumar 2)
In Kevin Rushby’s opinion the novel The White Tiger is a witty parable of India’s changing society, the scales have fallen from the eyes of some Indian writers, many either living abroad or educated there like Adiga. While reviewing the novel for The Guardian he states: “The home country is invariably presented as a place of brutal injustice and sordid corruption, one in which the poor are always disposed and victimised by their age old enemies, the rich. Characters at the colourful extremities of society are Dickensian grotesques – Phiz sketches, adrift in a country that is lurching rapidly towards bland middle – class normality. This seems to be fundamentally an outsiders view and a superficial one.”
The novel gives relentless detailed...

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