Balram uses the term “Rooster Coop” as a metaphor to describe the oppression of the people of low class in India went through. The wealthy people in India are the powerful individuals in the society, and they practice inequality social problem just as the roosters in a coop slaughter each other one by one at the market. Balram having come from a peasant family, he describes the life of poor people using the metaphor that they live in “Rooster Coop” to mean confinement in some harsh conditions that they think they cannot escape. Balram’s goal is to become a static character while he was young and still living a peasant life, the one who cannot change according to the present conditions. His dreams and ambitions are in vain because later on, he does not break out of the rooster coop and instead, he lives up to it throughout his successful life. Balram fails to come out of the oppressive chains completely due to his practice in engaging in bribery to make his business gain influence and success in Bangalore. On top of that, he is corrupt and engages in the murder of his principal master who trusted him despite his social status, Ashok to raise money and become a successful entrepreneur.
The Murder of Ashok
Balram killed Ashok through his fashioned weapon made from broken glass to steal the money of his principal master. The rooster coop that Balram once condemned entailed the forceful acquisition from others to live a better life. His main goal was to come out of the oppressive chains and help the oppressed to live a free life from forceful denial of rights by the wealthy and powerful individuals. Unlike some of the wealthy individuals from Ashok’s surrounding, Ashok was trusted Balram despite his family background and social status by employing his as his driver. However, Balram fails to live to his task that was the redemption of his people from the acquisition of wealth through illegal means through the murder of Ashok. He forcefully steals a red bag from his former employer filled with approximately 700,000 rupees, the bribe money, to start a taxi business in Bangalore. The people, who live in the light, just as he says before he became famous and rich, forcefully use their power to acquire wealth through illegal means. Through the stolen money from Ashok, Balram eventually becomes a successful businessperson in Bangalore just as the wealthy and powerful individuals he once condemned did to become successful.
Bribing Of the Police
Balram’s taxi business in Bangalore becomes successful through the bribing of the police; a practice that keeps him locked in the rooster coop. Balram uses a metaphor of people living in light to represent the wealthy individuals while the poor people live in darkness because of the terrible conditions the poor ones are unable to escape. It is a requirement that when Balram finds a place or a person to look up to in an attempt to get him out of the peasant life, he will fight for the oppressed in the society. However, after stealing the 700,000 rupees from Ashok to start a business in Bangalore, he bribes the police to gain the influence of making his taxi service business to be successful. It is ironical when Balram considers himself as a successful entrepreneur, yet he knows his success is not worth but through illegal means. In addition to that, through his connection to the highest authorities in India, he practices denial of justice when he covers up the fatal accident of a child in a hit and runs. The rooster coop accommodates the social injustices the common people of low social status go through. Balram’s escape from the chains means that he should distance himself from such vices and ensure that justice prevails. The pain Balram felt while he was young demands that he becomes a static character and fight for others irrespective of who he works for and his current status in the society. The India that Balram admires and dreams of does not become a reality instead, he who continues the trend of oppression.
Balram’s Ruthless Means
Balram blackmails the Honda driver, who was secretly a Muslim to get a chance to go to Dehli with Ashok and Pinky Madam. Balram gets what he wants through ruthless means without having any concern for the second party. He knows that while he will be in the new Ashok’s apartment, he will have an opportunity to live a satisfactory and stable life. Balram decides to spy on the other driver and eventually understands that the Honda driver was secretly a Muslim and a racist master. He takes advantage of the loophole to blackmail the driver to become the main driver of his principal master Ashok and his wife, Pinky Madam. In addition to that, the rooster coop is in action when Balram does not inform Ashok of his departing wife because he would later take advantage of her departure. Balram secretly drives Pinky Madam to the airport, a practice that led to divorce, without the knowledge of his principal master. The departure of Pinky Madam leads to the murder of Ashok by Balram. Some of the Balram family members subsequently dies due to the Ashok’s death in an attempt of revenge by the Stork’s family. Balram knew of the possible revenge while he was murdering Ashok but ignored because of his selfless ambitions of becoming a successful person in India.
Balram’s victories and success originates and revolves around corruption activities. In the novel The White Tiger, Adiga exposes the corrupt instances that prevail in the majority of the institutions in India ranging from education systems, government aspect, and the police institutions. Balram understands that to transform from darkness to light, to mean from poor to rich, someone has to be corrupt, and he truly follows the approach. He becomes part of the system of acquisition of property through ill means by engaging in fraud and bribery. He perfectly goes against his ambition of transforming the corrupt society into a healthy environment that everyone can access equal justice despite the social class. Balram specifically denounces his support to the police institution in curbing corruption by bribing the police to seek favors for his taxi business and denial of justice to an affected family whose child got an accident. According to Adiga, unless there are some great revolution strategies in the society, a corrupt society will always breed to a corrupt generation. These remarks are true because even Balram, who was the protagonist of corruption throughout the novel, engaged in corruption to improve his life.
In the novel The White Tiger by Adiga, Balram dreams and ambitions were to get out of the oppression chains, “rooster coop.” While he was young, Balram understood and felt pain the people from low-class social status suffered through oppression from the wealthy people who were powerful in the society. However, Balram attempt to get out of the rooster coop suffers a setback through his practices in continuing the trend. Balram killed Ashok through his fashioned weapon made from broken glass to steal the money of his principal master. The murder raised him money, corrupt money, to start his taxi business in Bangalore. Balram’s taxi business in Bangalore becomes successful through the bribing of the police; a practice that keeps him locked in the rooster coop. Balram’s victories and success originates and revolves around corruption activities. He understands that to transform from darkness to light, to mean from poor to rich, someone has to be corrupt, and he truly follows the approach. Balram blackmails the Honda driver, who was secretly a Muslim to get a chance to go to Delhi with Ashok and Pinky Madam to live a satisfactory and stable life. Balram secretly drives Pinky Madam to the airport, a practice that led to divorce, without the knowledge of his principal master to take advantage of her absence by stealing Ashok’s money forcefully through murder. He risks losing some of his family members through the revenge from Stork’s family, something he was aware of during the murder of Ashok.
Adiga, A., 2008. The White Tiger. Free Press.
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