In how far does Balram teach himself, and how much of an influence do others have on his emerging views about the world?
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Balram Halwai, the story's narrator, protagonist, and anti-hero, tells of his rise from village peasant to successful entrepreneur. He has a significant faith in his exceptionalism, thinking of himself as a "White Tiger" not tied to conventional morality or social expectations. It is through this alternate system that he is able to rearrange his life and identity. Balram's dark humor, cynicism, and perceptiveness form the lifeblood of The White Tiger.The India described by Balram is in the throes of a major transformation, heralded in part by the advent of globalization. India finds itself at the crossroads of developments in the fields of technology and outsourcing, as the nation adapts to address the needs of a global economy. Balram recognizes and hopes to ride this wave of the future with his White Tiger Technology Drivers business in Bangalore, but this force of globalization has a darker component for him as well. It threatens and disenfranchises those adhering to a traditional way of life, such as his family in Laxmangarh. Hence, he must change who he is in order to compete in this new world. Adiga thus vividly conjures the tension between the old and new India, suggesting that succeeding in this world (as Balram does) requires a flurry of ethical and personal compromises.