Discussion will take place in the Flex Room.

Ben Still
Tim McGonigle
Kris Cody
Davis Charette
Thomas Lord
Julie Jackson
Mike Urquhart
Marc Brown
1. Student Facilitator(s):
2. Protocols:
Ten words or less- A nice way to get a brief overview.
Whip- To gather everyones grasp of the reading.
To start off the discussion with:
  • First initial thoughts upon the book/the beginning?
  • What did you care most about in the book?
  • What passage(s) made an impact on you?
  • What points already said do you agree or disagree with?
  • What comment made today most affected your thinking?
  • What have you learned most about the book/the issues raised by the book today?
  • What questions still linger for you?

Ten Words or Less

This can be done as individuals or in pairs.
  • On your own or with one partner, summarize the book in ten words or less. Give everyone three minutes.
  • Share the summaries: the writer reads the summary and another participant asks a question or makes a comment in response to that summary. The writer responds and talk can open from there. Move to the next summary.

3. Discussion Questions:

What do you think was the main cause that transformed Balram from an obedient servant in the 'coop' to murdering his master Mr. Ashok?

Why do you think Balram wrote to the Premier?

What do you think the Premier's reactions would be to the letters?

Did you enjoy the way Balram revealed his story and eventually got to his murder through letters to Mr. Premier?

Balram talks about 'half-baked' citizens multiple times in the book. Because of his lack of education, Ashok calls Balram 'half-baked.' What does he mean by this?

The author chose to tell the story from the point of view of an exceedingly charming and egotistical admitted murderer. Does Balram's ambition/charisma make his vision clearer? And did he win you over at the end?

Balram mentions the White Tiger once clearly, and then other times subtly throughout the book. Why do you think he chose this title?

Why do you think the author chose to tell Balram's story through the letteres to Mr. Premier? Why is Balram writing to Mr. Premier?

Do you think that Balram killed Mr. Ashok, because he had to or just so he could succeed in the future?

What leads Balram to murder Mr. Ashok?

Do you think Balrams actions are justified in the end?

4. Culture & Context

What is it about marriage that is so important to the poor/people of India? - Kris

Why are there such clear distinctions of class in India?
http://countrystudies.us/india/89.htm - Kris (Source)
- Caste system in India is potentially the most unequal form of social equality.
- Membership/Caste placement in life is achieved by birth
- "Caste" means race, breed, kind
- There isn't very much care for human life.

Did the author, Aravind Adiga, base the book off his own life/experiences in India? - Kris

Is the government and political system in India still as corrupt today? -Thomas

  • history and political conflict of the nation depending on the time it takes place: historical articles or current news
  • cultural or religious traditions
  • biographical information about the author
  • articles of literary criticism (using Marvel)
  • author information -- interviews, obituaries, statements
  • book reviews
  • research allusions and cultural references

5. Pre-Discussion Processing
Post on the wiki prior to discussion and include textual references wherever necessary
  • Characters - List a significant detail for each character
Balram Halwai a.k.a. Munna a.k.a The White Tiger - narrator of story
Mr. Premier- The Prime Minister of China
Mr. Ashok - son of the "Stork"
Pinky Madam - American wife of Mr. Ashok who leaves him to go back to American society
Thakur Ramdev a.k.a. The Stork - 1 of the 4 great landowners of Laxmangarh with a big white beard. Can be strict - Balram massages his feet a lot. Doesn't like the Great Socialist.
Mukesh Sir a.k.a The Mongoose - Mr. Ashok's brother. Respected by his family, old-fashioned with Indian customs. Disrespectful to Balram

  • Setting - Locations and time periods
Post WWII India, in the midst of a political vote, and durring a chinese republic.

  • Important plot events - Choose at least 3 significant plot elements and explain their importance
    • When Pinky Madam is drunk and hits the innocent civilian in the car. Then Balram is blamed and 'thrown under the bus' for it. The significance of this is that it is one of the key events that lead Balram to turning against his master. He knows that Mr. Ashok wouldn't have done it if Pinky Madam weren't involved, but Balram feels horrible and starts to stop being so submissive.
    • When Balram is blamed for the death of the child that was struck by another one of Mr. Ashok's drivers and he gets out of it by bribing the police official. This is one of the first points of the book where we see the corruption of the government in India.
    • Obviously the apex of the novel towards the end is when Balram finally describes his assassination of Mr. Ashok near the car. This changes the entire route of the novel and is when Balram begins to become a successful entrepreneur with the stolen money.
  • Conflicts - Identify and elaborate on the conflicts that drive the plot
  • Narration (point of view) - Describe how the telling impacts the story
  • Important passages - Have at least 5 important passages on the wiki; a brief comment or question about how and why the passage is important should follow each

“My country is the kind where it pays to play it both ways: the Indian entrepreneur has to be straight and crooked, mocking and believing, sly and sincere, at the same time.”

“Those who live in this place call it the Darkness. Please understand, Your Excellency, that India is two countries in one:
an India of Light, and an India of Darkness. The ocean brings light to my country. Every place on the map of India near the ocean is well off. But the river brings darkness to India—the black river.”

“The inspector pointed his cane straight at me. ‘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?’ I thought about it and said: ‘The white tiger.’ ‘That’s what you are, in this jungle.’ ”

"The tale of how I was corrupted from a sweet, innocent village fool into a citified fellow full of debauchery, depravity, and wickedness." (pg. 189) - Understands what he did. His transition between being a poor village boy to a social entrepreneur. Basically has self-disdain for what he has become.