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The White Tiger
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Archives > 9. Is White Tiger cautionary or hopeful?

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John Seymour 9. The novel reveals an India that is as unforgiving as it is promising. Do you think of the novel, ultimately, as a cautionary tale or a hopeful one?


Kristel (kristelh) | 3833 comments Mod
Hopeful. The tiger is a symbol of power. Balram sees himself in the tiger. He sees himself empowered. Power is something to be cautious about.


Anita Pomerantz | 166 comments Fascinating question to me. In my mind, this is a cautionary tale. Ultimately, it raises the question of how oppressed does a man need to be before he will lose his morality to escape his situation? I felt like part of what made this story so good is that Balram's situation is bordering on the untenable; it's not a clear cut case where he has nothing to lose. He isn't horribly mistreated. But he also doesn't really have free agency, and in the end, that's what he covets. More than money. And he does whatever he must to obtain it. To be a real man in his own eyes.


Connie D | 91 comments Both, I guess. Balram felt hopeful because he managed to achieve a life where he felt in control of his own life and future. Cautionary because of course he killed someone to achieve that. He murdered someone who didn't individually wrong him but held the place in society and the money Balram needed to change his status. If Balram could so easily decide to do this and get away with it, how can anyone with power or money feel completely safe? Something needs to change.


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