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Unscrambling Aravind Adiga’s the White Tiger from the Perspective of Freud’s Psychoanalysis

Author TianDouDou
Tutor DuRuiQing
School Xi'an International Studies University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords The White Tiger Freud Psychoanalysis Psychosis Wealth Gap
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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The winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize is The White Tiger, written by Aravind Adiga. He is the fourth Indian-born author to win the prize, after Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy and Kiran Desai, and also the third writer to win the prize with his debut novel in the history of the Man Booker Prize. The thesis interprets The White Tiger in accordance with Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, illustrating the protagonist Balram Halwai’s metamorphosis and a variety of social issues that deserve our attention and deep thought.The first chapter is the introduction. This part presents an introduction to the author, lists a variety of praises as well as criticisms about the book after it has won the Man Booker prize. The second chapter lists some articles both home and abroad, all of which briefly discuss and interpret Adiga’s The White Tiger. The third chapter mainly discusses the influence of the traumatic experience in childhood and social reality on Balram’s personality change in accordance with Freud’s personality theory. The fourth chapter is associated with the unconscious theory. It illustrates how, Balram, a young man from the bottom of society, has achieved his success and become a murderer at the same time by lie, betrayal and trickiness. The fifth chapter is a further illustration of the novel. It compares Balram with the white tiger, which is a rare animal and can be seen only once in a generation, and concludes that the lower class Balram has been trapped in the same dilemma as the white tiger caged in the zoo. Neither of them has freedom and rights, but they will become relentless and cruel to survive in this chaotic jungle as soon as being freed. The sixth chapter, which is the last part of the thesis, concludes that the wealth gap and class discrimination have a great influence on people’s mental state , and deeply reflects all kinds of ugly secrets hidden behind the“rising India”.

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