Behind the Beautiful Forevers

The Cost of Globalization: Two Accounts of India 11th Grade

In both Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger and Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers, a rapidly changing India threatens and deprives those adhering to a traditional way of life, such as Balram’s family in Laxmangarh, and the community of slum-dwellers in Annawadi. Therefore, the two of these groups must change in order to compete in this new world. Both Asha and Balram are negatively affected by the globalization of India; however, they plan to escape the restraints of globalized India by sacrificing their morals and justifying their actions with the belief that economic success is more important. Balram justifies his actions by calling them “acts of entrepreneurship” (9). The reality of globalization is either the surrendering of one’s morals to attain economic success, or being left stranded in the impoverished part of India that the other half has left behind.

Aravind Adiga and Katherine Boo vividly conjure the tension between the old and newly globalized India, indicating that succeeding in the modern world (as Balram does) requires a combination of ethical and personal compromises. The Americanization of India allows Balram to momentarily alter his caste. Balram also recognizes the nature of globalization and how to...

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