THE WHITE TIGER: A SAGACIOUS QUEST IN EPISTOLARY TRADITION
Authors: DEBALINA SENGUPTA
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Epistolary novel is a fictional genre written in the form of letters or documents, integrating higher realism to create absolute absorption of the audience. The term is derived from the Greek word “epistolē” (a letter) and under its veil it often impersonates the society to create a larger-life effect among the audience. Our present text of discussion, the Booker winning debut novel of Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger, surprisingly has been written in this practice, incorporates letters from Balaram Halwai to Wen Jiabao, describing his journey from a rooster-coop to a successful entrepreneur. This fiction unfolds slowly how a Halwai resists the oppression of the master class people and ultimately is able to create a distinct identity irrespective of class, caste, creed and societal taboos after committing a violent murder of his employer. Murder is always an act of violence, we are never granted to take the life of others, however criminal he may be. But in the case of Balaram, this violent act of execution produces a cathartic effect. He wins over all the societal obstruction as well as family ties through this purgatorial crime.