Social Criticism in Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger

By Radika Chopra.

Published by The International Journal of Literary Humanities

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Showing us various aspects of society from politics, economics and culture, via genres like romance, tragedy and comedy from period to period is a common point in all literary works. Before beginning with the study, it is necessary to make clear what ‘social criticism’ is here, as the term itself has a wide meaning. ‘Social’ will be discussed in the sense, as the Merriam-Webster dictionary puts it, “of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society.” This means that in a smaller sense, the term ‘social’ concerns the way the individuals, the characters of the novels, deal with each other, and, in a larger sense, how the society is organized and how its institutions treat the individual and the group, which also brings economic and political components into the scope of the study. The present critique underlines Adiga’s sociological insight as he deals, in fictional disguise, with the social structure and relationships, process of social change or the lack of it, and various ills affecting our society. Liberty and equality are two major boons of Democracy and an egalitarian society. These two vital aspects of human life are instrumental to sustainable development and Enlightenment. But unfortunately there are innumerable evil forces that destroy human liberty and equality. Those evil forces which we call ‘corruption’ exist in countless forms. India is a sixty two year old Democracy. Arising out of centuries of imperial captivity and foreign rule, the Indian nation aspired for radical change under democracy. But it could not achieve perfection. First, the essay will focus on the wider relations in society, the political, economical and the legal. Then, the individual relations among the characters and the criticism of them will be observed. Later, this work will also explore how the society influences the individual – here the hero – in his actions.

Keywords: Social Criticism, Social Structure and Relationships, Process of Social Change,, Inequality, Corruption

The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp.51-59. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 389.883KB).

Radika Chopra

Ph.D Scholar, Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore, Madya Pradesh, India

Radika Chopra is a Ph.D scholar at Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore. She holds postgraduate and graduate degrees from the English and Foreign Languages University and Delhi University. She is the author of two articles published in national journals of repute: Sahitya Akademi’s Indian Literature and ICFAI University Press’s Journal of English Studies. Her areas of interest are Indian writing in English, Women Studies and British literature among others. She has attended National seminars. She is a member of MELUS-MELOW, The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the World) and MELUS-India (the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States - India Chapter). She is also a member of IACLALS-Indian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies.