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The White Tiger

The Car Accident (pg.138-145)


Madison Gilbert, Ryan Sprumont, Alexa Robertson, McKenna Welch
Feminist/Sexuality Criticism
McK: “Without a word between us, Mr. Ashok and I acted as a team. He grabbed her, put a hand on her
mouth, and pulled her out of the driver’s seat; I rushed out of the back.” ( top of 139) Masculinity
involves the brotherhood of correcting women’s wrongs.

Mad: “Halfway through she quieted down, but then, as we got closer to the apartment block, she started
up again. She said, ‘We have to go back.’ ‘Don’t be crazy, Pinky.’” (top of 139) Women’s emotions are
displayed as dangerous, distracting, and unnecessary while femininity might also represent
morals that are disregarded for man’s protection of reputation.

Ale: “Her mouth opened again-she was going to scream again in a second. Before she could do that, Mr.
Ashok gagged her with his palm-he reached for the box of facial tissues and stuffed the tissues into her
mouth; while she tried to spit them out, he tore the scarf from around her neck, tied it tightly around her
mouth, and shoved her face into his lap and held it down there. When we got to the apartment, he
dragged her to the elevator with the scarf still around her mouth.” (middle/bottom of 139) The relationship
between men and women, specifically husband and wife, is depicted as almost abusive and this
abuse is justified with the protection of the marriage and power.
Marxist Criticism
Rya: “‘God, Balram, what will we do now-what will we-’ He slapped his hand to his thigh. ‘What are these children doing,
walking about Delhi at one in the morning, with one one to look after them?’” ( top of 140) Displacing the guilt away from
himself, realizing his power. Wrongdoings justified by lower classes’ incompetence.

“‘Oh, she was one of those people.’ ‘Who live under the flyovers and bridges, sir. That’s my guess too.’ ‘In that case will
anyone miss her…?’ ‘I don’t think so, sir. You know how those people in the Darkness are: they have eight, nine, ten
children-sometimes they don’t know the names of their own children. Her parents-if they’re even her in Delhi, if they even
know where she is tonight-won’t go to the police.’” (middle of 140) Value of human life determined by class-corrupted
justice.

McK: “The whole house had been handed over to the Mongoose.” (top of 142) Power system within the upper class.
Mongoose is Ashok’s superior in this case.

“He sat down on the table, and said, ‘Sit, sit, make yourself comfortable, Balram. You’re part of the family.’ My heart filled up
with pride. I crouched on the floor, happy as a dog, and waited for his to say it again...He looked down at me with narrowed
eyes.” (middle of 141) Identity crisis social surroundings creates. Psychological?
Marxist Criticism (cont.)
❖ Corrupt system of power. Unequal worth assigned to human beings according to social
power system.

Mad: “I looked at the paper, pretending to read it again, and it began to shake in my hands. What I am
describing to you here is what happens to drivers in Delhi every day sir...The jails of Delhi are full of
drivers who are there behind bars because they are taking the blame for their good, solid middle-class
masters. We have left the villages, but the masters still own us, body, soul, and arse. Yes, that’s right: we
all live in the world’s greatest democracy. What a fucking joke.” (middle of 144-top of 145)

“Doesn’t the driver’s family protest? Far from it. They would actually go about bragging. Their boy Balram
had taken the fall, gone to Tihar Jail for his employer. He was loyal as a dog. He was the perfect servant.
The judges? Wouldn’t they see through this obviously forced confession? But they are in the racket too.
They take their bribe, they ignore the discrepancies in the case. And life goes on. For everyone but the
driver” (middle of 145) ending the chapter with identification of systemic problem
Psychological Criticism
Ale:“I was tired as hell-but on my lips there was the big, contented smile that comes to one who has done
his duty by his master even in the most difficult of moments.” (bottom of 140)

❖ Able to repress morals in order to satisfy identity as a successful servant.


❖ Sacrifice your once self in order to achieve what you want to become
❖ Separation of two truths, denial of one, acceptance of other

Ale: “Employers are like mother and father. How can one be angry with them?” (top of 138)

❖ After being oppressed for so long, latches on to any “positive”


❖ Relates to those who are abducted who sometime form bonds to their captors

McK: “The next morning, I wiped the seats of the car as usual-I wiped the stickers with the face of the
goddess-I wiped the ogre-and then I lit up the incense stick and put it inside so that the seats would smell
nice and holy.” (bottom of 140-top 141)
Feminist/ Sexuality Criticism
-Examines the gender roles and power structures at play in the literature

-are the female or characters present in the work? What might the absence/or
limited appearance of these characters imply

-are the females characterized in largely positive or largely negative ways? Is it


stereotypical? Are they given round characterization at all? What might this imply?

-do the female characters play an active role in determining their fate? Or are the
largely objects that require action from male characters?

-look at gender in general or how masculinity is constructed in the text


Marxist Criticism
- what social classes do each of the characters represent?
- Who has the money, power, or advantage? Who doesn’t?
- How is social class used or reinforced?
- What values does it reinforce?
- What is the social class of the author? Which class does the work represent?
- How do different class portrayals maintain certain social beliefs and
practices?
- How do characters of different classes interact? Is there conflict?
Psychological Criticism
-are there prominent words in the piece that could have different or hidden
meanings? Could there be a subconscious reason for the author using these
‘problem words’

-how can characters’ behavior, narrative events, and/or images be explained in


terms of psychoanalytic concepts of any kind (for example...fear or fascination with
death, sexuality-which includes love and romance as well as sexual behavior-as a
primary indicator of psychological identity or the operations of ego-id-superego)

Pyschoanalytic definitions:
http://www.apsa.org/content/psychoanalytic-terms-concepts-defined