Paulo Freire's The White Tiger

992 Words4 Pages
In the novel The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga tells the story of Balram, a driver who eventually kills his master to escape a life of poverty and oppression, but is Balram truly free in the end? According to certain standards Paulo Freire sets in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Balram has managed to acquire his freedom by the end of the novel. He does this through rejecting the oppressor/oppressed mentality and humanizing those around him. Firstly, Balram rejects the oppressor/oppressed mentality perpetuated by his culture. He first demonstrates his opposition to oppressing others when he refuses to sleep with prostitutes in the red light district. He has no desire to sleep with them because, as he states, “They’re like parrots in a cage. It’ll be one animal fucking another animal” (214). The symbolism in this passage suggests that these women are oppressed animals who have not chosen to do what they’re doing, and if he were to have sex with one of them, he’d be no better than an animal himself, trying to dominate (oppress) them. Balram also shows his unwillingness to oppress others when he goes back to get Dharam after murdering Ashok. If Dharam is left behind after the murder, he would likely be arrested as an accomplice. However, there are risks if Balram goes back, as he describes: “[I]f I went back now all the way to Gurgaon, someone might discover the body… and then this (I tightened my grip on the bag) would have been a waste” (246-247). Despite knowing the risks, Balram still goes to get the boy, proving that he isn’t willing to step on Dharam’s freedom in order to guarantee his own and…show more content…
When in the city of Hyderabad, on his way to Bangalore after the murder, he meets an illiterate man who inquires about his wanted poster. Balram lies to the man to keep suspicions at bay. Afterwards, Balram regrets that he has to lie, as the following passage

    More about Paulo Freire's The White Tiger

      Open Document