Quiz The White Tiger (Aravind Adiga)
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1. Aravind Adiga's debut novel, 'The White Tiger', won the Booker prize in ______. But its unflattering portrait of India as a society racked by corruption and servitude has caused a storm in India.
2. The novel 'The White Tiger' is about . . .
tick mark as many points are you find it correct
3. Nietzche’s concept of the “ubermensch,” usually translated as “super-man” or “over-man,” is a central concept of Nietzchean philosophy, most significantly discussed in <i>Thus Spoke Zarathustra</i>(1883-85). Nietzche’s ubermensch is a man of superior potential who has thrown off the shackles of the traditional Christian “herd morality,” instead constructing his own moral system. Having moved beyond the confines of moral thought, the ubermensch furthers the interests of humanity by pursuing the realization of his own singular moral code, and hence acting as a model for those who follow.
Agree or disagree (read last slides for better understanding: www.slideshare.net/dilipbarad/literary-appreciation-of-the-white-tiger
4. Meet Balram Halwai, the 'White Tiger': ______ , ______ , _____, _____.
Select the four adjectives used in blurb of the novel to describe its central protagonist
5. Which of the following name is taken by Balram when he becomes entrepreneur in Bangalore?
6. Match these quotes which helps re-reading 'The White Tiger' . . . with the ones who wrote/spoke it
Umashankar Joshi
Gayatri Spivak
E V Ramakrishnan
Homi K Bhabha
Many people want to claim subalternity. They are the least interesting and the most dangerous. I mean, just by being a discriminated-against minority on the university campus; they don't need the word ‘subaltern’ . . . They should see what the mechanics of the discrimination are. They’re within the hegemonic discourse, wanting a piece of the pie, and not being allowed, so let them speak, use the hegemonic discourse. They should not call themselves subaltern.
Indianness is rather an ongoing search for, a vision of, a pattern of Indian literature and culture to which the literature and culture in every part of the country is more or less converging”. “… We shall always be viewing the composite identity of Indian literature within the parameters of the composite culture of India.” “…True Indianness transcends India and genuine Indianisation is a synonym for humanization.”
We need to relocate Indian literature in the context of caste gender, region, religion etc., where issues of everyday struggles for subsistence in a living society find their expression. . . The struggle against hegemonic structures of power defines the nature of lower-caste subjectivity. … Literature is shaped by the material condition of society.
Nation – the modern Janus: the uneven development of capitalism inscribes both progression and regression, political rationality and irrationality in the very genetic code of the nation – it is by nature, ambivalent.
7. Match these quotes which helps re-reading 'The White Tiger' . . . with the ones who wrote/spoke it
Franz Kafka
Farukh Dhondy
Dipesh Chakraborty
Terry Eagleton
Of which necessity was South Asian writing in English born? The obvious answer is nationalism and the struggle for Independence.
Some books seem like a key to unfamiliar rooms in one’s own castle. we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us. That is my belief.
a historical narrative leads up to the event in question, explaining why it happened, and why it happened when it did, and this is possible only when the event is open to explanation. What cannot be explained belongs to the marginalia of history
There is no need to drag politics into literary theory(text), it has been there from the beginning
8. Which of the novels/writes influenced Adiga in writing 'The White Tiger'? (Tick mark all correct options)
9. 'The White Tiger' like several other novels in recent time is modeled on 'Self-help book. Which of the following book uncovers the conspiracy hidden in 'Self-help-book-Culture'?
10. Adiga, in the process of narrating from periphery, subverts metaphors of meta-narratives. For example, his looking at Mother Ganga or Lord Hanuman or Gandhi or Buddha is undermining their cultural values. Apart from this, Adiga also subverts canonical literary lines/quotes: Match the following quotes with its counterpart in the novel.
It has darkened my soul. All the skin-whitening creams sold in the markets of India won't clean my hands again.
Stories of rottenness and corruption are always the best stories, aren't they?
P.B. Shelley's Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. (To the West Wind)
Shakespeare: "Will all the water in the ocean wash this blood from my hands? . . .Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh! (Macbeth)
11. Almost everything about India is under Adiga's satirical anvil. Match the system / institution with the satirical lines from the novel:
Education
Religion
Democracy
Election
Medicine
Businessman
The teacher turned aside and spat—a jet of red paan splashed the ground of the classroom. He licked his lips.. .  Once, a truck came into the school with uniforms that the government had sent for us; we never saw them, but a week later they turned up for sale in the neighboring village. No one blamed the schoolteacher for doing this. You can't expect a man in a dung heap to smell sweet.
Now, you—Dr. Ram Pandey—will kindly put one-third of your salary in my palm. Good boy. In return, I do this." He made a tick on the imaginary ledger. "You can keep the rest of your government salary and go work in some private hospital for the rest of the week. Forget the village.
sides—the temple. Inside, you will find an image of a saffron-colored creature, half man half monkey: this is Hanuman, everyone's favorite god in the Darkness. Do you know about Hanuman, sir? He was the faithful servant of the god Rama, and we worship him in our temples because he is a shining example of how to serve your masters with absolute fidelity, love, and devotion. These are the kinds of gods they have foisted on us, Mr. Jiabao. Understand, now, how hard it is for a man to win his freedom in India.
But I told you, there's only one thing wrong with this place—we have this fucked-up system called parliamentary democracy.
At the tea shop, the gossip grew furious. People sipped their tea and discussed the same things again and again. Would they do it this time? Would they beat the Great Socialist and win the elections? Had they raised enough money of their own, and bribed enough policemen, and bought enough fingerprints of their own, to win? Like eunuchs discussing the Kama Sutra, the voters discuss the elections in Laxmangarh.
"He got into politics because he had to, Ashok—you don't have a choice in the Darkness. And don't panic, we can deal with this income tax charge. This is India, not America. There's always a way out here. I told you, we have someone here who works for us—Ramanathan. He's a good fixer."
12. Almost everything about India is under Adiga's satirical anvil. Match the system / institution with the satirical lines from the novel:
Politicians
Land lords
Gandhi
Buddha
Police
Entrepreneurship
Listen, you just got back from America. Even this man driving our car knows more about India than you do right now. We need a fixer. He'll get us the interview with a minister that we need. That's how Delhi works.
All four of the Animals lived in high-walled mansions just outside Laxmangarh—the landlords' quarters. They had their own temples inside the mansions, and their own wells and ponds, and did not need to come out into the village
It was a story of the Buddha. One day a cunning Brahmin, trying to trick the Buddha, asked him, "Master, do you consider yourself a man or a god?" The Buddha smiled and said, "Neither. I am just one who has woken up while the rest of you are still sleeping." I'll give you the same answer to your question, Mr. Jiabao. You ask, "Are you a man or a demon?" Neither, I say. I have woken up, and the rest of you are still sleeping, and that is the only difference between us. I shouldn't think of them at all. My family.
Go to a tea shop anywhere along the Ganga, sir, and look at the men working in that tea shop—men, I say, but better to call them human spiders that go crawling in between and under the tables with rags in their hands, crushed humans in crushed uniforms, sluggish, unshaven, in their thirties or forties or fifties but still "boys." But that is your fate if you do your job well—with honesty, dedication, and sincerity, the way Gandhi would have done it, no doubt.
A week from now I'll go to see him again with an envelope, and then he won't be so nice. He'll count the money in front of me and say, This is all? Do you know how much it costs to keep two sons studying in a foreign college?  . .And he'll ask for another envelope. Then another, then another, and so on. There is no end to things in India, Mr. Jiabao, as Mr. Ashok so correctly used to say. You'll have to keep paying and paying the fuckers. But I complain about the police the way the rich complain; not the way the poor complain.
For surely any successful man must spill a little blood  his way to the top.
13. Martin Geoffroy describes the four major religious positions that are an integral part of the Global age, in the following order: intransigent, conservative, pluralist and relativist. Match each with their explanation:
Refer Rano Ringo's article: An Insight into the Facets of Globalized India
Intransigent
Conservative
Pluralist
Relativist
This religious position is characterized by the rejection of secular society and is a kind of response to the failure of non-religious ideology
This position is a moderate form of religion because it does not oppose de facto modernity or globality but seeks to integrate both in the project of an institutional religion
This religious positionn favours membership in one major religious tradition as a cultural anchor, while maintaining an open interfaith dialogue with "other" religions. Here, it is difficult to talk about any single religious truth because of the desire to recognize the richness of the diversity of religious cultures from around the world.
This religious position claims that there are different moral conceptions in the world, one for each individual for that matter, and that they change from one place to another. Here, it is believed that there can be no universal moral standards, religious traditions or beliefs applicable to all cultures.
14. To which of the above mentioned (Q. 13) religious position Balram belongs to?
15. I firmly believe . . .
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16. My views about the ending of the novel. I believe . . .
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