THE REPRESENTATION OF THE MAIN CHARACTER’S HYBRID IDENTITY AS A RESPONSE TO GLOBALIZATION IN ARAVIND ADIGA’S
THE WHITE TIGER
AN UNDERGRADUATE THESIS
Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Sarjana Sastra
In English Letters
DIONISIUS SONY WIDYA MUNARSA SUPRIHANTO Student Number: 074214047
ENGLISH LETTERS STUDY PROGRAMME DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH LETTERS
FACULTY OF LETTERS SANATA DHARMA UNIVERSITY
“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds” - Bob Marley -
First of all, I would like to thank God and the universe for I could finish this undergraduate thesis. I would also like to show my greatest gratitude to my family: my father, Ignatius Joko, and also my beloved mother, Yosefin Hantoro for their material and immaterial support. I also thank my little brother Filipus Neri, who has supported me in finishing this thesis.
I also would like to thank my advisor, Dr. FX Siswadi, M.A., who has guided, helped, and given enlightenment to me during the process of writing this undergraduate thesis. The help and guidance he has given to me along the writing of this undergraduate thesis have been very contributing. I also thank my co advisor Elisa Dwi Wardani, S.S., M.Hum. for inputs regarding my writing content.
B. Approach of the Study...26
C. Method of the Study...27
CHAPTER IV: ANALYSIS...28
A. The Characterization of the Main Character (Balram Halwei)...28
1. The Physical Characterization of Balram Halwei...31
2. The Non-physical Characterization of Balram Halwei...34
c. Open Minded………...41
B. The Globalization in India That Presented in The Novel...49
C. The Main Character’s Representation of Hybrid Identity as a Response to Globalization………57
CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION...71
DIONISIUS SONY WIDYA MUNARSA SUPRIHANTO. The Representation of the Main Character’s Hybrid Identity as a Response to Globalization in Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger.Yogyakarta: Department of English Letters, Faculty of Letters, Sanata Dharma University, 2013.
The White Tiger is a novel written by Aravind Adiga that portrays the struggle of a native Indian named Balram Halwei to get out off poverty and also against the oppression from the local authority. In this novel, Balram is described as a native who has the consciousness that he is a victim of a bad system. In this case, the poverty and the oppression are the effects of globalization in his country: India.
The objective of this study is to address the relationship between Balram Halwei and the globalization process in his country. There are three research problems raised in this undergraduate thesis: the first problem is to find out how Balram Halwei is described in the novel. The second is to find out how the globalization is described in the novel, and the last is to find out how Balram Balwei represented a hybrid character as a response to globalization.
The writer uses library research as the methodology. The main reference of this study is the novel The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. Meanwhile, the other references are obtained from several theories in printed books and some articles from the internet. The writer uses postcolonial as the study approach. The writer feels that this approach is suitable to analyze the problems because the novel is a representation of a native’s struggle against colonialism in globalization era.
DIONISIUS SONY WIDYA MUNARSA SUPRIHANTO. The Representation of the Main Character’s Hybrid Identity as a Response to Globalization in Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger.Yogyakarta: Department of English Letters, Faculty of Letters, Sanata Dharma University, 2013.
The White Tiger adalah novel karya Aravind Adiga yang menggambarkan perjuangan seorang pribumi India bernama Balram Halwei untuk lepas dari jerat kemiskinan dan penindasan oleh para penguasa di sekitarnya. Dalam novel ini, Balram digambarkan sebagai seorang pribumi yang mempunyai kesadaran bahwa ia adalah korban dari sistem yang buruk. Dalam hal ini pula, kemiskinan dan penindasan yang dirasakan Balram tersebut merupakan sebuah akibat dari globalisasi yang terjadi di negaranya, India.
Tujuan dari penelitian ini adalah untuk mengetahui lebih jauh mengenai hubungan karakter utama dengan proses globalisasi yang terjadi di negaranya. Terdapat tiga tujuan utama dalam penelitian ini. Yang pertama adalah untuk mengetahui bagaimana Balram Halwei digambarkan dalam novel ini. Yang kedua adalah untuk mengetahui bagaimana globalisasi digambarkan dalam novel ini. Dan yang terakhir adalah untuk mengetahui bagaimana gambaran Balram Halwei merupakansebuah representasi identitas hibrid sebagai respon terhadap globalisasi.
Metode yang digunakan penulis dalam melakukan studi ini adalah studi pustaka. Sumber utama adalah novel The White Tiger karya Aravind Adiga. Sedangkan sumber referensi didapatkan dari buku-buku teori dan beberapa artikel dari internet. Dalam menganalisa masalah-masalah di atas, penulis menggunakan pendekatan poskolonial. Sudut pandang ini dirasa tepat oleh penulis, sebab novel ini merupakan sebuah representasi pribumi dalam usaha melawan penjajahan di era globalisasi.
1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION
A. Background of the Study
Aristotle, in his book Poetic, defines poetry as an imitation (from Greek word:
mimesis) of human actions (Abrams, 1993: 89). By ‘imitation’, he means it as a ‘representation’ of human action and re-presenting it in a new “medium”. The definition above can be applied toa general literary works and becomes a mimetic criticism. Mimetic criticism views literary work as an imitation, or reflection, or representation of the world and human life, and the primary criterion applied to a work as that of the “truth” of its representation to the subject matter that it represents, or should represent (Abrams, 1993: 40).
If work of literature is seen as a mirror of reality then we can relate it to the real world. For instance, there is a phenomenon that rose in the early of the 21th century called globalization. Nowadays, this phenomenon extends to all corners of the world. Generally, globalization can be defined as “the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating
meaning. The following quotation is what Amartya Sen a Nobel Laureate and Economist states about globalization:
Global interaction, rather than insulated isolation, has been the basis of economic progress in the world. Trade, along with migration, communication, and dissemination of scientific and technical knowledge, has helped to break the dominance of rampant poverty and the pervasiveness of ‘nasty, brutish and short’ lives that characterized the world. And yet, despite all the progress, life is still severely nasty, brutish and short for a large part of the world population. The great rewards of globalized trade have come to some, but not to others (Amartya Sen, Foreword, Make Trade Fair, Oxfam, 2002).
From Amartya’s statement, it is apparent that globalization is a complex concept. Globalization has several dimensions: political, technological, humanity, environmental, and cultural. These dimensions may reflect or contribute to the exclusion of the economically and educationally poor people especially in developing countries, and environmental degradation, as well as the growth of prosperity and peace in some areas (Pais, 2006: 1).
On one side, globalization has positive effects. The large volumes of money movement, increased volume of trades, changes in information technology and communication are all integral to a global world (Pais, 2006: 1).
Some analysts embrace it enthusiastically as a positive feature of a changing world in which access to technology, information, services and markets will be of benefit to local communities, where dominant forms of social organization will lead to universal prosperity, peace and freedom, and in which a perception of a global environment will lead to global ecological concern (Ashcroft, 1998: 110-111).
decolonization after World War II, becomes a demonstrate of the transmutation of imperialism into the supra-national operations of economics, communications and culture “The chief argument against globalization is that global culture and global economy did not just spontaneously erupt but originated in and continue to be
perpetuated from the centers of capitalist power”(Ashcroft, 1998: 111).
At one level it may appear that globalization has no significant impact on people’s lives, it seems that their lives are ‘normal’ in most circumstances. Many people are not aware of how they become a crucial part of this phenomenon. The reality is that every individual is affected in one way or another. Then, these changes affect people’s identities and cultural values, which sometimes become altered significantly. “
Whether it is between generations, or intra-personally, new values can cause dissonance and conflict with existing deeper-rooted values. Sometimes such transitions and changes can further cause difficulty with internal growth and development (Pais, 2006: 2).
The White Tiger is a novel which raises globalization issue in India. The novel was written by an Indian writer, Aravind Adiga, in 2008. This novel has also won the first Man Booker Prize at the same time. This novel told the story about the struggle of an indigenous Indian whose identity has been influenced by the complexity of globalization in India. In this novel, Adiga presented the portrait of globalization in India and its impacts through the story of the main character. He portrayed the dark perspective of India’s class struggle in a globalized world as told through a retrospective narration from the main character, Balram Halwei. The novel was written in the form of a confession letter by Balram Halway to the Chinese Prime Minister, Mr. Wen Jiabao, when the prime minister visited India for an official assignment.
The story was about the journey of Balram Halwei, a poor native Indian who became a great entrepreneur in India. He came from a darkness area in India called Laxmangarh. Then, he became a private driver and also a servant for his master, Ashok. After some periods, he killed his master, robbed his money and fled. After that, with the robbed money, he built a taxi driver company and became a great entrepreneur in Bangalore, the world’s center of technology and outsourcing.
In this study, the writer tries to find how the main character represents hybrid identity as a response to globalization. The globalization as a transmutation of imperialism and colonialism becomes the main issue of this novel, which means that the writer wants to find out the main character’s response to the globalization. Hopefully, this research can give a new enlightening perspective.
B. Problem Formulation
1. How is the main character characterized in this novel? 2. How is the globalization in India presented in the novel?
3. How does the main character represent hybrid identity as a response to globalization?
C. Objectives of the Study
show the role of a globalization toward the main character’s thought and how he overcame the social problem in globalization era.
D. Definition of Terms
To avoid misinterpretation and misunderstanding, the writer would like to explain some terms which are widely related to the topic that is going to be discussed.
Globalization is the process whereby individual lives and local communities are affected by economic and cultural forces that operate world-wide. As the results is the process of the world becoming a single place (Ashcroft, 1994: 111).
2. Hybrid Identity
7 CHAPTER II
A. Review of Related Studies
The White Tiger is known as a realistic novel about social injustice in India, the social disparity between the poor and the rich. It represents the social
condition in India. Yet, some reviewers focused on the two intrinsic elements: the
main character (Balram) and the unpredictable plot of this novel.
The result is an Indian novel that explodes the clichés – ornamental prose, the scent of saffron – associated with that phrase… Caught up in Balram's world – and his wonderful turn of phrase – the pages turn themselves. Brimming with idiosyncrasy, sarcastic, cunning, and often hilarious, Balram is reminiscent of the endless talkers that populate the novels of the great Czech novelist Bohumil Hrabal. Inventing such a character is no small feat for a first-time novelist (www.independent.co.uk/arts-
It is true that the main character becomes the main favorite focus taken by
most researchers. He had a combination of different characteristic which differed
him from others. The writer of this research will also use the main character as the
main focus of this research. The complexity and the unique characteristic of the
main character, Balram, becomes the writer’s passion in doing this research.
One research that has similar perspective with this research is an essay
from Lily Want, a Professor of English at the University of Kashmir, Srinagar,
India, entitled The Poetics and Politics of Cultural Studies in Aravind Adiga’s The
example, it can easily be analyzed as a form of cultural resistance to homogenizing capitalism, as the emphasis throughout is on the particularities of the proletariat suppressed under the dominant high culture. But what strikes one as odd is that this particular class has been undermined in the text to such an extent that the writer not only fails to redefine the social order but also ends up as a spokesperson of the conventional Eurocentric perspective of the East to the extent that it has led literary critics to debate how far he fits a Western cosmopolitan model of writing (Want, 2011: 69).
The essay focused on the resistance of Eastern culture to the Western
culture that is represented in this novel. Moreover, this essay attempted to unravel
these diametrically opposed strands in the fabric of The White Tiger as Adiga while silencing certain voices ends up allowing the narcissism of the Western
culture to raise its garrulous head.
Another study about Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger is an undergraduate
thesis by Eka Shanti Budi Asih, a student of English Letter Department, Sanata
Dharma University. Her study is entitled Sociopathic Personality as Seen in the Main Character of Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger. She studied the influence of social condition to the main character (Balram)’s personality that led him into
becoming a sociopath. She emphasized the personal development of Balram and
the influence of the social condition that caused Balram to become a sociopath.
She judged that the main character, Balram is an individual with anti social
personality disorder, or can be called sociopath, with no further explanation. So,
the writer sees that this undergraduate thesis looked like other literary criticisms,
which was trapped in the judgement of normality and abnormality.
This research originates from the writer’s disagreement to the thesis of Eka
sociopath. Generally, Eka’s opinion was true as she saw the main character from
one perspective, but there are some considerations to refuse the judgement. First,
the writer disagrees if the main character was judged as a sociopath because Eka’s
judgement put the main character only in between good or bad condition only. The
second one, Eka did not put specific issues or causes that changed Balram into
becoming a sociopath in her analysis and conclusion. This opinion is based on the
below quotation that the writer found in the novel:
Me, and thousands of others in this country like me, are half-baked, because we were never allowed to complete our schooling. Open our skulls, look in with a penlight, and you'll find an odd museum of ideas: sentences of history or mathematics remembered from school textbooks (no boy remembers his schooling like one who was taken out of school, let me assure you), …. all these ideas, half formed and half digested and half correct, mix up with other half-cooked ideas in your head, and I guess these half-formed ideas bugger one another, and make more half-formed ideas, and this is what you act on and live with (Adiga: 2008: 8).
The quotation above indicated that Balram’s characteristics are not the
only one in his country. There were a lot of people who were like him, and
Balram’s was only one example from such phenomenon that occurred in India. It
means that there must have been a main cause behind the phenomenon. Hence, the
writer will try to find it in this undergraduate thesis.
Moreover, the study from Lily Want also gave an influence to the writer in
doing an analysis about the issue of cultural resistance in The White Tiger. But the
writer will give specific emphasis to the main character as the one that represents
a mixed culture as the result of colonization as well as a response to globalization.
The writer thinks that the complex characteristic of the main character is
identity. This is what the writer wants to know much about the main character.
The writer will learn about how the main character represents hybrid identity as a
response to globalization.
B. Review of Related Theories
1. Theory of Character and Characterization
a. Theory of Character
There are two main qualities in character’s case (Colwell, 1968: 10-13).
First is morality. Aristotle’s Poetic defines character as moral quality, goodness and badness. The second is personality, which defines character as a personal and
unique person. It sees a character as different from other characters. Abrams, in
his book, The Glossary of Literary Terms, combined these two qualities to define character as “The persons presented in a dramatic or narrative work, who are interpreted by the readers as being endowed with moral and dispositional qualities that are expressed in what they say – the dialogue – and by what they do – the action” (Abrams,1993: 23).
From the definition above, it can be said that in literary works, character is
the author’s medium to express the author’s ideology or perspective. It can be
seen through the dialogues between the character(s) or the character’s behaviour.
Still from Abram, based on the importance, characters are divided into
major and minor characters. Major characters are described more detailed than
minor characters. The description makes the major character becomes the focus of
raising action, the conflict, the climax and the falling action. Otherwise, the minor
characters are presented merely as the ‘complement’ of the story. They are not
presented at all scenes of the story and are not described in details as the major
characters. The importance of minor character is their influence to the major
According to E.M. Forster in his book Aspects of the Novel (1974),
characters are divided into two: flat and round characters. Flat characters are only
described in a single quality. It means that the characters are showed in one aspect
of their appearances in the story. Their quality is not developed from the
beginning until the end of the story. The second category is round characters. The
term ‘round’ shows the fullness of the characters’ behavior. This kind of character
may shift its point of view to other point of view. Generally, this character may
have conflict of its own for making decision. Forster also wrote that round
characters have ability to surprise the readers because the changes of their
behaviors. In short, round characters develop from the beginning until the end of
b. Theory of Characterization
Characterization is important to create the character in a story. The way the
author creates the characters is defined as characterization. According to Murphy
in Understanding Unseen (1972: 160-173), there are nine ways that the authors
i. Personal Description
The author describes the characters’ appearances directly, from the body,
such as the face, skin, the hair, the height, the eyes’ shape and even clothes. It will
help the readers understand the characters.
ii. Character as Seen by Another
The author describes the characters through the other characters in the story
like in the personal description; the description of character as seen by another is
covering the physical things of the character.
The description can be the character’s speech or in the conversation through
another character’s speech. Murphy explains, “Whenever a person speaks,
whenever he is in conversation with another, whenever he puts forward an
opinion, he is giving us some clues to his character” (Murphy, 1972: 164).
iv. Past Lives
The author can give out clues to the reader that shape a character’s nature
through his or her past life in order to get some ideas about the his or her thoughts,
behaviour, and action. “This can be done by direct comment by the author, through the person’s thought, through his conversation or through the medium of another person” (Murphy, 1972:166).
v. Conversation of Others
The author gives some clues to the readers about the character through the
The author gives out clues to a character by letting the readers know how
the character reacts to various situations and events.
vii. Direct comments
The author directly describes or gives comments on a character. The
difference of direct comments to personal description is that the direct comments
mostly about the psychological things of the character, not the physical things.
The author can give the readers direct knowledge of what a character is
thinking about. It is only accepted in the novel.
ix. Mannerism, habits, or idiosyncrasies
The author describes the character’s ways of behaving, which may also tell
the readers about specific characteristics of different people. The manner of the
character is habitual.
2. Theory on Globalization
In the book Key Concepts in Post-Colonial Studies, Bill Ashcroft defined
globalization as “the process whereby individual lives and local communities are
affected by economic and cultural forces that operate world-wide. As the result it is the process of the world becoming a single place” (Ashcroft, 1994: 111).
Furthermore, Aschroft explain that the chief argument against
globalization is that global culture and global economy did not just spontaneously
capitalist power (Ashcroft, 1994:111). Ashcroft also said that in some respects,
globalization, in the period of rapid decolonization after World War II, has
developes from an imperialism into the supra-national operations of economics,
communications and culture “The chief argument against globalization is that global culture and global economy did not just spontaneously erupt but originated in and continue to be perpetuated from the centers of capitalist power” (Ashcroft, 1998: 111).
Moreover, Ritzer, an economist, in his book Globalization: A Basic Text,
describes that globalization is not built in one concept, but there are many
concepts that build globalization from some aspects: “there are many other concepts that either described earlier historical, or contemporary, realities that deal with at least a portion of that which is encompassed with globalization” (Ritzer, 2010: 64). Based on Ritzer explanation, it seems that globalization has
influenced by some concepts that has born earlier. In this study, the writer deals
with two concepts that are related to globalization: imperialism and colonialism.
In its most general sense, imperialism refers to the formation of an empire,
and, as such, has been an aspect of all periods of history in which one nation has
extended its domination over one or several neighboring nations (Ashcroft,
1998:122). Moreover, Edward Said used imperialism in this general sense to
mean “the practice, theory, and the attitudes of a dominating metropolitan center
implanting of settlements on a distant territory” (Said, 1993: 8). On the same hand, Vladimir Lenin, a communist leader, stated that imperialism is the highest
stage of capitalism as he put it in his book, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of
Capitalism. Lenin stated that there are five characteristics of imperialism in this
world. Nevertheless, only one out of Lenin’s five characteristics that can be
applied in this thesis: “the concentration of production and capital developed to
such a stage that it creates monopolies which plays a decisive role in economic
life” (http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/ 1916/imp-hsc/ch01.htm).
In the book Introduction to Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory,
Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman defined colonialism in its relationship with
The conquest and direct control of other’s people land, is a particular phase in the history of imperialism which is now best understood as the globalization of the capitalist mode of production, its penetration of previously non capitalist region of the world, and destruction of pre- or non-capitalist forms of social organization (Williams, 1994: 3).
Williams’ statement above shows that there is a relation between colonialism
and globalization. His statement’s proofs that globalization is a transformation of
colonialism in the present time. Williams’ statement is also similar to Ania
Loomba’s statement. In her books Colonialism/Postcolonialism, Loomba stated that colonialism is not just the result of domination from the outside and not only
the operation of forces in cooperation, but also because of the use of old system
version.”Colonialism was not an identical process in different parts of the world
but everywhere it locked the original inhabitants and the newcomers into the most complex and traumatic relationships in human history” (Loomba, 1998: 2).
The statement above provided an affirmation that colonialism still
continues until the present time. The emphasis of colonialism concept is not
merely identical in its relationship between the East and the West, but it becomes
a relationship that involves two main subjects: the original inhabitants and the
newcomers, whoever they are. On the same hand, Bill Aschroft said that there is
no society who gets full freedom from the colonizer for free.
It is significant that no societyever attained full freedom from the colonial system by the involuntary, active disengagement of the colonial power until it was provoked by a considerable internal struggle for self-determination or, most usually, by extended and active violent opposition by the colonized (Aschroft, 1998: 49).
Form Aschroft’s statement above, Aschroft emphasized that colonialism ‘never
stops’. In other words, he emphasized that the full freedom could only be gained
through a resistance to the colonizer. Then he also said that the freedom always
begins by a ‘pioneer’ that provokes the society to realize about the real condition
of being colonized and who does a resistance.
Moreover, Ashish Nandy in his book The Intimate Enemy (1983) stated
two forms of colonization: the first is a physical conquest of territories and the
second is the colonization of theminds, selves and cultures. The first mode is
violent, transparent in its self interest and greed. The second mode is that of the
rationalists, modernists and the liberals who claim to have the responsibility of
This colonialism colonizes minds inaddition to bodies and it releasesforces within colonized societies toalter their cultural priorities once andfor all. In the process, it helps togeneralize the concept of the modernWest from a geographical andtemporal entity to psychological category. The West is noweverywhere, within the West andoutside; in structures and in minds (Nandi, 1980: xi).
Nandi’s theory above shows that the practice of colonialism is not fixing
only in one method, but it has a different method with same subject pattern and
same purpose. In other words, Nandi said that the physical conquest has been
change to be mind conquest, and it still involved the West as the main subject of
the colonialism practice.
Besides, colonialism has a close relation to orientalism. Orientalism means
”a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction
made between “the Orient” and (most of the time) “the Occident” (Said, 1979:
2). Said identified European cultural tradition of 'Orientalism', as a particular and
long-standing way of identifying the East as 'Other' and who inferior to the West.
The Orient, he said are featured in the Western mind 'as a sort of surrogate and
even underground self (Literature in the Modern World, ed. Dennis Walder, p.
236). This means, in effect, that the East becomes the repository or projection of
those aspects of themselves which Westerners do not choose to acknowledge
(cruelty, sensuality, decadence, laziness, and so on).
On the other hand, Occident is considered superior over the Orient and
furthermore, as Said stated, “what gave the Oriental’s world its intelligibility and
identity was not the result of his own efforts but rather the whole complex series of knowledge manipulations by which the Orients was identified by the West” (Said 1993: 2, 40).
c. Globalization in India
India (Republic of India) is a country in South Asia continent. This country
got its independence from British colonizer in 15 August 1947. The British also
had left India with a rudimentary industrial and scientific base; great poverty; a
large and growing population; social cleavages along caste and economic lines;
and contentious territorial boundaries that have led to armed conflicts against
Pakistan, China, and numerous insurgent groups (Library of Congress – Federal
Research Division, 2004).
The economic globalization of India was started in 1991. It happened after
India experienced economic crisis in early 1990. India’s Minister of Finance at the
time (who now becomes India’s current Prime Minister), Manmohan Singh, made
an economic policy which had changed the economic system in India from
socialist into capitalist. It meant that the modern India’s capitalist free enterprise
economy started to replace Nehruvian Socialism (Wolpert, 2009: 461). Since that
time, India grew up into an economic giant in South Asia. Also, India got
advantages from the system change, such as: exports rocketed by 25 percent,
than 6 percent in1995. Some ‘world wide’ Western investors like Pepsico, IBM,
and Xerox, started to build their factory in India because of the cheap labor wage
applied in India.
On the other hand, the globalization increased disparities between the rich
and the poorest, making those differences more disconcertingly glaring. The
minimum wage made labors and poor people could not improve their well-being.
The effects were the rise of urban social problems like urban slum, bogged down,
as well as squalor that rose along with the economic growth. Besides, the effect of
imbalanced system caused country disaster such as famine and flood.
For India's most impoverished 300 million landless peasants and urban slum dwellers bogged down in mud and squalor, at the mercy of monsoon rains bringing famine and flood, however, Manmohan's reforms brought little relief and less comfort. The daily drudgery of village India's bullock-cart economy remained as precarious as it had always been, while the wretched crowding of mega polis slums in Bombay, Calcutta became more painful to those who labored to erect palaces of urban prosperity without earning enough to feed their families (Wolpert, 2009: 465).
In the same time, the population growth went hand in hand with the
economic growth. The uncontrolled population growth made India has the world’s
largest youthful population with more than 600 million under age 25. In 2011,
total population in India had been over than one billion
(approximately1,216,728,000). This condition made India becomes the second
most populated country after China. Besides, because of the complexity of
language, race, religions, etc. India also grows into becoming the largest
democratic country in the world.
Joseph E. Schwartzberg, Emeritus Professor of Geography, University of
the world. He said that apart from its many religions and sects, India is home to
innumerable castes and tribes, as well as to more than a dozen major and hundreds
of minor linguistic groups from several language families unrelated to one
another. Then, he also said that religious minorities, including Moslems,
Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains, still account for a significant proportion of
the population; collectively, their numbers exceed the populations of all countries
except China (www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/285248/India).
One of the impacts of globalization in India is the development of
Bangalore city. Bangalore, renamed as Bengaluru in 2006, the state capital of
Karnataka, is a megacity located at the south of India. Since the 1980s, from 1981
to 2004, its population had doubled to about six million. In 2007, Bangalore was
categorized as the fifth largest city in India after Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, and
Chennai (Dittrich, 2007: 45).
During the 1990s, Bangalore had developed into a preferred location for
high-technology industries such as electronics, information and communication
technology (ICT), and IT-enabling services, and it had emerged as a globally
integrated center of high technology research and production (Fromhold-Eisebith
2001; Dittrich 2003, 2004; Heitzman 2004). This city got labeled as the
'Electronics Capital of India' and 'India's Silicon Valley', which represents one
particularly positive showcase of the new opportunities for Newly Industrializing
Countries to benefit from recent trends in economic globalization (Dittrich, 2007:
46). In the correlation with India’s culture, globalization has impact to some
Caste is a traditional India’s system of social order and control. Caste is
the most elaborate form of social stratification ever known. It has dominated the
Indian sub-continent for about three millennia, and is also the most obnoxious of
all exclusionary systems. “Caste-exclusions are explicit in traditional society. Membership and status are determined by birth; there is a hierarchy of social precedence among the castes; there are restrictions on social and cultural intercourse between castes; castes are segregated and stratified with regard to civil and religious privileges; occupations are caste determined with relatively little choice allowed; restrictions on marriage outside one’s sub-caste help maintain the system” (Ghurye, 1979: Chapter 1).
Nowadays, caste still continues to play an important role in Indian life. In
rural areas, movement out of caste specializing occupations and access to
resources is still difficult and slow for the lower castes, but in urban areas, caste is
now a less significant part of daily life. Although discrimination on the basis of
caste has been outlawed in India, caste has become a means for competing for
access to resources and power in modern India, such as educational opportunities,
new occupations, and improvement in life chances (Sekhon, 2000: 45). The higher
castes, which exploited the lower castes for centuries, continue to discriminate
against them both socially and economically today. The present Indian society is
moving from its closed systems towards a state of change and progression marked
by the assertion of the human spirit irrespective of castes and creeds (Velassery,
According to J.P Singh in his article Problem of India’s Changing Family
and State Intervention, dowry, or the bridegroom price, refers to
“A lump sum of money with or without some tangible assets constituting an essential part of the wedding settlement, which is transferred by the bride’s household to that of her prospective spouse before the actual solemnization of marriage. Sometimes dowry also accompanies or follows the marriage of a daughter” (Singh, 2010: 6).
Singh argued that dowry has gained social legitimacy across all
communities and regions. He said that marriage negotiations tend to break down if
there is no consensus between the bride's and bridegroom's families regarding the
mode or amount of payment of dowry (Singh, 2010: 6).
3. Hybrid Identity
Hybridity commonly refers to the creation of new transcultural (This term
refers to the reciprocal influences of modes of representation and cultural
practices of various kinds in colonies and metropoles, and is thus ‘a phenomenon
of the contact zone (Ashcroft, 1989: 233)) forms within the contact zone produced
by colonization (Ashcroft, 1989: 118). Hybridity has frequently been used in
post-colonial discourse to simply mean cross-cultural ‘exchange’. It means that the
term hybridity is a combination of two cultures or more as a result of colonization.
Next, identity is defined as something relational and incomplete as Stuart
Hall in his article The Local and the Global: Globalization and Ethnicity, identity
defined as “a structured representation which only achieves its positive through
seems that Hall’s argument indicates that identity construction is built on
fundamental differences rather than on what the similarities between individuals
are. In other words, the construction of someone identity through what someone is
Then, talking about process, Barry said that identity can be classified into
‘the process of cultural adaption’. In which, individuals can be classified into four
possible categories based on their acculturation attitudes, as depicted by Barry and
colleagues’ seminal work (e.g., Barry, 1990): assimilation (identification mostly
with the receiving culture), integration (high identification with both cultures),
separation (identification mostly with the culture of origin), or marginalization
(low identification with both cultures). On the same hand, Frantz Fanon in his
book The Wretched of the Earth argued that the first step for colonized people in
finding a voice and an identity is to reclaim their own past. The second step is to
begin to erode the colonialist ideology by which that past had been devalued
C. Theoretical Framework
There are three major theories that have been written above to analyze the
three problem formulations in this study. The first is to find the characterization of
the main character, Balram Halwei. Murphy’s theories of character and
characterization will help the writer of this research find out the characteristics of
Balram Halwei. The writer also uses Murphy’s theory about character
characteristic of a character the author usually put a character on a situation and
give a certain reaction (Murphy, 1972: 161-173). What is meant by reaction is
how the character deals with the problems he is facing. So, the writer will identify
the characteristic of Balram Halwei from his perspective in dealing with his
problems and his interaction with other people in this story.
The theory of globalization will help the writer find out the second
problem formulation. The writer will apply some theories of globalization that has
been arranged. And the last, the writer will combine the answer of problem
formulation one and two with the theory of hybrid identity to find out how the
hybrid identity as the response of globalization is revealed through the main
25 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY
A. Object of The Study
The object of the study is a novel entitled The White Tiger. This novel is a debut novel by an Indian author, Aravind Adiga. The novel was written in English and published by Harper Collins in India in 2008. This novel consisted of 318 with and seven chapters. This novel has won the Man Booker Prize 2008. The version used in this thesis is published by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc in 2008. It is a paperback edition and consisted of 276 pages.
B. Approach of the Study
The writer uses postcolonial approach in this thesis. This approach is most compatible to answer the questions which are formulated in the earlier chapter. Although this novel was published in 2008 and categorized as a contemporary novel, the issues of this novel still have close relation with resistance to the colonization. According to Barry there are four characteristics of postcolonial criticism. The first characteristic is an awareness of representations of the non-European as exotic or immoral 'Other'. The second is language. The third is double or hybrid identity, and the last is ‘cross-cultural’ interaction (Barry, 1995: 193-195).
Besides, the main character’s consciousness of colonization that work at him and his environment is the main key in relation to postcolonial criticism. As Barry says: “One role of postcolonial critics does is to develop a perspective, not just applicable to postcolonial literatures, whereby states of marginality, plurality and
perceived 'Otherness' are seen as sources of energy and potential change” (Barry, 1995: 198).
the Eastern. Bressler’s statement about the birth of postcolonial theory also supports the selection of this approach:
Born out of the colonized peoples’ frustrations, their direct and personal cultural clashes with the conquering culture, and their fears, hopes, and dreams about the future and their own identities, postcolonial theory slowly emerges (Bressler, 1999: 266).
From the quotation above, it is understood that the postcolonial approach also gives a point on subject’s culture clashes with the conquering culture. Then, in the side of colonized people, it grows as a find out of his identity. Because of that, this statement supports the writer topic about the hybrid identity as a response to globalization
C. Method of the Study
This thesis uses library research method. The data are obtained from books and texts related to the topic. The writer uses two kinds of data, primary and the secondary data. The primary data used in this thesis is the novel The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. The secondary data are some books of theories, articles from the internet, historical data, and other studies related to the work.
CHAPTER IV ANALYSIS
In this chapter, the problem formulations which are mentioned in the first chapter will be answered. The theories written in chapter two and the method of the study will be applied to analyze the problem formulations. To understand the research clearly, this chapter will be divided into three parts. The division is based on the numbers of the problem formulations in the first chapter. The first part will identify the character and characterization of Balram Halwai since it is the main object of this study. The second part will analyze how globalization is presented in the novel, and the third is how Balram Halwai represents the hybrid identity as a response to globalization.
A. The Characterization of the Main Character (Balram Halwei)
and his present life. So, the characterization of the main character can also be seen from the description of his past life, as Murphy’s stated: “The author can give out clues to the reader that shape a character’s nature through his or her past life in
order to get some ideas about the his or her thoughts, behaviour, and action”
(Murphy, 1972: 166). Moreover, the main character’s past life consists of some other ways of characterization ways, such as: personal description, character as seen by another, conversation with others, reaction, thought and habit. Because of that, Balram will be the main point of this research. As the object of this study is an epistolary novel, it shows Balram as the narrator and also the main character of the story. Based on Murphy’s theory, in the terms of importance, it indicates that Balram is the major character in the novel. He becomes the main focus in the story because the story tells about him and his life.
In terms of quality, Balram can be categorized as a round character. Forster said that the term ‘round’ shows the fullness of the characters’ behavior. The fullness can be shown on Balram’s life phases: from he was a poor boy until he had become a great entrepreneur. Some events in his lifetime had affected his way of thinking, his attitude, and also his personality. The phases indicate that the main character’s personality developed during his life.
I was a servant once, you see (Adiga, 2008: 3).
The quoted paragraph above is the evidence that Balram has a round character. He told about two different phases in his life: a servant and an entrepreneur. This last sentence of the paragraph above becomes an indication that he has experienced processes to become an entrepreneur. Logically, the process of a servant into becoming an entrepreneur is not an easy process. It is assumed that he has to struggle to become an entrepreneur. The last sentence of the paragraph is an indication of an entrepreneur thought. His statement about the origin of entrepreneur showed that he had struggled to become an entrepreneur. The experience of Balram as a servant and an entrepreneur showed the fullness of Balram’s character.
Moreover, as Forster said, round character may have conflict of its own in making decision. It is proved by Balram when he wanted to kill his master in order to take revenge. Think, Balram. Think of what the Buffalo did to his servant's family
1. The Physical Characterization of Balram Halwei
According to Murphy, the first way to know the personality of a character is to get the information about the character’s personal description or his physical character. So, at first, the writer of this research explores as much as possible information of the physical character of Balram Halwei.
The author of this novel described the physical character of the main character through the description by the main character itself (Balram). Balram’s physical appearance is described through a comparison of two phases in his life, which are before he became a successful entrepreneur, as a poor native Indian and also a servant, and after he had became a successful entrepreneur. The physical characteristic before he became a great entrepreneur can be seen from the fugitive poster that was made by the police in a train station in Hyderabad:
Assistance Sought in Search for Missing Man
as a rickshaw puller, the clan name Halwei meant sweet maker. Furthermore, the clan name showed that he came from low caste.
The poster described the impression of people when they saw Balram for the first time. The word “blackish”, “thin”, and “small” gives a deeper image that emphasizes on Balram as a weak man. It can be assumed that his life as a servant is not really good. Perhaps it was caused by his burden or because he had never got enough nutrition for his body. The physical character description convinces the reader that he is a poor man. Other evidence that Balram was weak man physically is seen from the dialogue between him and the truck driver when he sought a job in the center of the town in the darkness.
"Everyone!" he shouted. "Take off your shirts! I've got to see a man's nipples before I give him a job!"
He looked at my chest; he squeezed the nipples—slapped my butt—glared into my eyes—and then poked the stick against my thigh: "Too thin! Fuck off!" (Adiga, 2008: 46).
This characterization of Balram is categorized as a past life through the conversation between the main character and the other. In the quoted paragraph above, Balram does not tell his physical appearance directly. Nevertheless, it comes as the story of his experience. The reaction from the truck driver indicates that Balram did not have a strong power to do a cobble. The truck driver used the physical appearance as an indicator to select the job seeker. Balram’s flat chest is an indication that he had never done a hard job.
physical characteristic of Balram had changed after he became a great entrepreneur in Bangalore:
Well, that's not exactly right anymore, sir. The "blackish face" bit is still true—although I'm of half a mind to try one of those skin-whitener creams they've launched these days so Indian men can look white as Westerners—but the rest, alas, is completely useless. Life in Bangalore is good—rich food, beer, nightclubs, so what can I say! "Thin" and "small"—ha! I am in better shape these days! "Fat" and "potbellied" would be more accurate now (Adiga, 2008: 10).
The quotation above drives an assumption that Balram has changed in his physical characteristic. He changed his physical characteristic with the stolen money. Besides developing his business, he also made over his physical appearance over. It is assumed that it was his way to hide from the police’s chase. The Western/city life style also gave big influences to him. Rich food, beer, and night clubs are a representation of rich man’s life. Also, he had been able to get enough nutrition for his body. His complexion looked brighter and his body had been fatter than before. The phrase ‘Blackish face’ means that he had still kept his face as an Indian man, although he had changed his life style according to the style of Western people.
The burning syrup singed me wherever the ladle touched, and left a series of spots on my ears which people sometimes mistake for vitiligo or another skin disease;
a network of pink by which you can still identify me, although the police, predictably, missed it (Adiga, 2008: 30).
In this case, Adiga described the main character through the story from the main character (character speech). The pink spot is the special physical appearance of Balram that was not recognized by the police. Actually it was an important thing of Balram’ appereance. Fortunately, the police did not recognize it, and they did not put this characteristic on the fugitive poster, which became an advantage for Balram. He made use of this situation to hide from the police, although he did not attempt to dismiss it with plastic surgery.
Literary, the ‘pink spot’ can be analyzed as a depigmentation of a skin. It means that the spot of human skin is brighter than the other. Then, the different color can be interpreted as a sign that Balram has integrated to the brighter things. Moreover, the ‘pink spot’ is placed on Balram’s ear, so it can be interpreted that he has heard a lot of information that then became enlightenment for him.
2. The Non-physical Characterization of Balram Halwei
and badness. Whereas dispositional is preferred to personality of the character: his habit and behavior. With these qualities, the physical characterization will be analyzed.
In this part, the writer of this research use Murphy’s theory of characterization to analyze the personality of Balram Halwai. Mostly of the characterization of Balram can be proved by his speech. Moreover, it can be revealed through his past lives also. This way becomes the main way because the object of the study is Balram’s confession letters about his past life before he became a great entrepreneur. Murphy said that the author can give out the clues to the reader that shape a character’s nature through his or her past life in order to get some ideas about the his or her thoughts, behaviour, and action. “This can be done by direct comment by the author, through the person’s thought, through his conversation or through the medium of another
person” (Murphy, 1972:166).
difference existing between one’s class position and that of some other individual or individuals. This awareness is also generally accompanied by certain attitudes towards those occupying other class positions.
In this case, Balram’s class consciousness is started when he was child. The moment when he quitted his school because of his grandmother’s force is the beginning of his consciousness. Then, because of his disappointment at not being able to continue his education raises his curiosity to know the cause of it. Then, Balram understood that his grandmother, Kusum forced him to leave his school because she put Balram as a part of a deal that Kusum had made with Stork, the land lord.
The family had taken a big loan from the Stork so they could have a lavish wedding and a lavish dowry for my cousin-sister. Now the Stork had called in his loan. He wanted all the members of the family working for him and he had seen me in school, or his collector had. So they had to hand me over too (Adiga, 2008: 31).
From the quotation above, it can be seen Balram realized that there were something that went wrong with his cousin-sister wedding. He understood that he was used by his grandmother as a part of a deal between his grandmother and Stork. He realized that he was trapped in a system that had made by Kusum. In this moment, Balram’s class consciousness is raised. He began to understand that he was born as a poor man and low class man. It means he understands that he was an inferior in the society. He understands that he has no option to do and he must obey the system made by the upper class that in this case, was represented by Stork.
some money to Stork, and he must quitted his school. From this moment, Balram must burry his dream to get good education and started to work to earn some money. The moment of Balram’s quitting school becomes an important moment in his life. When he grew up, Balram realized that his incomplete schooling is a general phenomenon in his country, India, especially for native poor Indian like him. This consciousness could be seen from the following speech.
Me, and thousands of others in this country like me, are half-baked, because we were never allowed to complete our schooling. Open our skulls, look in with a penlight, and you'll find an odd museum of ideas: sentences of history or mathematics remembered from school textbooks (no boy remembers his schooling like one who was taken out of school, let me assure you), sentences about politics read in a newspaper while waiting for someone to come to an office, triangles and pyramids seen on the torn pages of the old geometry textbooks which every tea shop in this country uses to wrap its snacks in, bits of All India Radio news bulletins, things that drop into your mind, like lizards from the ceiling, in the half hour before falling asleep (Adiga, 2008: 8).
The quotation above is a way of indicating the characterization from the character’s thought. Here, Balram states his thought about the half-baked phenomenon in his country, India. Reflected of his experience, he realizes that he was a victim of a bad system in India, especially economic and education system in India. He realizes that he lives in a country which many poor people do not have any chance to get good education, and he becomes part of them. Balram realizes that he cannot escape from poverty. The phenomenon above also leads him to recognize about his country’s condition.
to conclude the phenomenon in a sentence: “(For this land, India has never been free. First the Muslims, then the British bossed us around. In 1947 the British left, but only
a moron would think that we became free the)” (Adiga, 2008: 18).
The quotation above shows Balram’s thought about the real condition of India. He has a disagreement about the common statement of India’s freedom. In this sentence, Balram realized that his country has not been really getting their freedom. Then, indirectly, Balram tried to send message to the reader that India is still being colonized until this day. Balram realized that the process of colonization is still continued. He knew that the colonization was still happening, but it has changed into different shape. Balram’s statement above emphasizes that Balram is a conscious man. His life experiences and the social condition around him had led him to a consciousness about India’s social condition. The consciousness was the basic characteristic that brought Balram to fight against the colonization in his country through his hybrid identity.
through the character’s thought. Although Balram came from poor family, it does not stop him from being curious. Basically, Balram is a man who has big curiosity of something new. This curiosity led him to be intelligent person. He was described as a native intellectual. Adiga tries to describe Balram as an intelligence person naturally. It means that Adiga characterized Balram as a man who born to be an intelligent person. As the evidence, Balram’s intelligence had been detected since he was in elementary school. It had been known by the local inspector when he was in elementary school.
The inspector wrote four sentences on the board and pointed his cane at a boy: "Try Balram, sir," the teacher said. "He's the smartest of the lot. He reads well."
…You, young man, are an intelligent, honest, vivacious fellow in this crowd of thugs and idiots. In any jungle, what is the rarest of animals— the creature that comes along only once in a generation?"
"The white tiger"
"That's what you are, in this jungle." (Adiga, 2008: 29).
inspector given to Balram also indicates that Balram is a unique character and rare in the world. In other words, the inspector called Balram a local genius. From the last speech, the inspector has predicted that Balram has a talent to be a great person. This statement had become Balram’s belief and also raised his passion to fight against the oppression that worked at him.
Balram also learned a lot about India’s government from his master life. In some case, Balram’s intelligence characteristic has changed to be clever. According to Longman Dictionary of English, clever (Adj.) means “being able to use your intelligence to get what you want, especially in a slightly dishonest” (Longman, 2004: 275). This characteristic is the characterization from moral quality perspective. Morality means beliefs or ideas about what is right and wrong and how people should behave (Longman, 2004: 1067).
"Gratitude for what?" the inspector asked in Hindi, peering into the bag with one eye closed.
"For all the good you are going to do me, sir."
He counted the money—ten thousand rupees—heard what I wanted, and asked for double. I gave him a bit more, and he was happy. I tell you, Mr. Premier, my poster was right there, the one that I had seen earlier, the whole time I was negotiating with him. The WANTED poster, with the dirty little photo of me.
… I called up the nice woman at the Internet Company who had turned me down, and heard a shocking tale. Her taxi service had been disrupted. A police raid had discovered that most of the drivers did not have licenses.
(Adiga, 2008: 257-258)
The quoted paragraph above shows Balram’s way to trick the existed Internet Company to launch his taxi service business. He tricked the Internet Company by bribing the local police. The conversation between Balram and the police above indicates that the police in Bangalore were corruptive. They did not notice that Balram is a fugitive although there was a poster of Balram on the wall. They had been excited when they received the bribe instead of catching the fugitive. On other hand, his effort was successful. It indicates that his taxi business grew up well from a tricky way. From personality perspective, what Balram had done was shows the quality of ability: smartness. Nevertheless, in the term of morality perspective, what Balram had done is shows negative thing. However, what he did is only a response to the situation around him. Overall, those actions are the evidence that Balram is genius.
c. Open Minded
820). In the characterization way, Balram’s open minded characteristic could be seen through character’s speech. Adiga characterized Balram as a man who has big curiosity. His lack in school has closed one source of knowledge. Then, this condition raised his curiosity to know about new ideas. Because of that, the curiosity led him to be open minded to new ideas. This characteristic could be seen when he still worked as a table wiper in the tea shop.
And it was at the tea shop in this city built by coal, while wiping a table and lingering to overhear a conversation that my life changed.
"You know, sometimes I think I did the wrong thing in life, becoming a miner."
"Then? What else can people like you and me become? Politicians?"
"Everyone's getting a car these days—and you know how much they pay their drivers? One thousand seven hundred rupees a month!"
I dropped my rag. I ran to Kishan, who was cleaning out the insides of an oven. (Adiga, 2008: 44)
… Kishan and Cousin Dilip lifted me up from the ground, big smiles on their faces. Great news! Granny had agreed to let them invest in my driving classes. (Adiga, 2008: 47)
Balram’s open minded characteristic could also be seen when he had become a great entrepreneur in Bangalore. Balram was characterized as a man who has an interest in new technology. Bangalore, the city of technology, has influenced him to respond to the innovation of technology happened in the city. Balram’s open minded characteristic grew up when he had become an entrepreneur in Bangalore.
The Bangalorean life influenced him to be a modern man. He changed his habit from a poor native Indian to a modern people with the innovation of technology in Bangalore. Besides, Balram also used the money that he had stolen from Ashok to make himself over. He changed himself from a naïve “village” man into a modern “city” man.
See for yourself at my Web site. See my motto: "We Drive Technology Forward." In English! See the photos of my fleet: twenty-six shining new Toyota Qualises, all fully air-conditioned for the summer months, all contracted out to famous technology companies…
…You could stare at the screen of my silver Macintosh laptop and see photos of my SUVs, my drivers, my garages, my mechanics, and my paid-off policemen (Adiga, 2008: 258-259).
This characteristic of Balram can be examined with some ways. The first is from his speech, as Murphy explained that “Whenever a person speaks, whenever he is in conversation with another, whenever he puts forward an opinion, he is giving us
some clues to his character” (Murphy, 1972: 164). The second one is from his habit. The passionate characteristic is seen after he left his school because of his grandmother’s force. Basically, Balram is described a person who has big curiosity of something new. However, he could not continue his school because his grandmother had forced him to quit his school for work. From this moment, Balram’s passionate characteristic had grown. He kept his passion to get good education although he would have to achieve it through an alternative way. He used any chances to improve his knowledge. The example is when he worked as a table wiper in a tea shop, where he made use of his job as a table wiper to spy and overhear any information from the customers in the tea shop.
Instead of wiping out spots from tables and crushing coals for the oven, I used my time at the tea shop in Laxmangarh to spy on every customer at every table, and overhear everything they said. I decided that this was how I would keep my education going forward—that's the one good thing I'll say for myself. I've always been a big believer in education—especially my own. (Adiga, 2008: 43).
only way to get information in such situation, so he is had no other way. It can also be said that he could educate himself. However, because he got the information only from the customer’s dialogues, it is assumed that the knowledge that he got are just information about the practical things or the daily life in his country, and not about such theories he would have found in books or literature. The fact that he did not finish his school did not stop him from studying. He did not give up reaching his dream. He did this thing because he realized that education is important and it might bring him to escape from the system that had oppressed him.
Besides enriching his knowledge, Balram also trained a new skill by joining driving class. He practiced driving because he thought that this skill is interesting and he might use it to find a job as a driver. Nevertheless, his “sweet-maker” caste did not hold him back from learning new skill.
For every hour I spent in the car, he made me spend two or three under it—I was made a free repair mechanic for all the taxis in the stand; late every evening, I emerged from under a taxi like a hog from sewage, my face black with grease, my hands shiny with engine oil. I dipped into a Ganga of black— and came out a driver (Adiga, 2008: 47).
The quoted paragraph above shows Balram’s never give up spirit. Although his instructor blamed him and often bullied him, he never stopped improving his driving skill and kept improving on his knowledge about car parts. Balram understood that all of the ‘temptations’ from the instructor might be considered as a sacrifice he would have to do to master the driving skill.