novel, The White Tiger, written by
Aravind Adiga the protagonist of the book is Balram. In the book, he becomes an
entrepreneur who is trying to climb higher in the social ladder. In the play Doctor Faustus written by Christopher
Marlowe is Doctor Faustus the
protagonist of this tragedy. Faustus decides to pursue black magic in order to
gain universal power. He makes a deal with the devil, by exchanging his soul
for twenty-four years of power. These two characters have a lot more in common
than you might think. Somehow, Balram and Faustus have both a lot of
similarities regarding their personality. These differences similarities will be discussed in this essay.
Balram and Faustus have a great perseverance to climb up the social ladder. Balram
is born in a poor village called Laxmarangh, he always had the dream to become
a successful entrepreneur and therefore go to a higher caste. In order to do
this, he eventually kills Mr. Ashok who gave him the job as a taxi driver. This
shows that his perseverance to climb up higher in the social strata system is so big that even murder is involved. Similar
to Balram, Faustus also has the desire to gain universal power. In order to do
this, he pursues black magic. He makes a deal with the devil to give his soul
to him. In trade for twenty-four years of power. This did not work out as he
hoped it would because eventually he dies and his soul goes to the hell. So, in
the end, Balram and Faustus both have a great perseverance to climb up the
Secondly, Faustus and Balram are both very religious but in different
ways. In the White Tiger Balram is
quite cynical and sarcastic about religion. However, there are some signs that show that Balram is deeply religious.
Balram has internalized many of the religious sensibilities of the rural
village life in India. When Balram committed the murder on Mr. Ashok, he
decided not to listen to religion. Religion is one of the many things that he
decides to dismiss for his ambition. Faustus
is similar to Balram also very religious. In the play, there are a lot of passages
that clarify this.
Mephistopheles, and tell me
What good will
my soul do thy lord?
Is that the
reason why he tempts us thus?
socios habuisse doloris.” (Act 2, scene 1, Christopher Marlowe)
In this passage,
Mephistopheles is warning Faustus to turn back from his intended action. Since
this action shows that hell is miserable. But Faustus ignores him and decides
also to dismiss religion for his ambition. So therefore, Balram and Faustus are
both quite religious but in the end, they both do not listen to religion.
Balram and Faustus are both very lonely. Balram describes himself as an above
averaged smart boy who develops with his experiences. He changed from a naïve,
poor child to a hardened, rich metropolitan. Balram looks with a cynical attitude
towards the conditions in India and also towards his own life. But at the end
of the story, Balram is actually a lonely person. This is because of his living
condition but also because he is dissociated from his friends. “One day, I
know, Dharam, this boy who is drinking my milk and eating my ice cream in big
bowls, will ask me… And then I’ll have to come up with an answer or kill him, I
suppose.” (Aravind Adiga, page 175) Balram even kept his own family away from
himself because of the murder he committed. Faustus is in a similar situation
because he cannot relate with anyone. His so called ‘friends’ use him because
he has supernatural powers, “since we have seen the pride of Nature’s work…
let us depart”. This quote shows that Faustus is only popular because Faustus
can entertain them. The only one that Faustus can really rely on is Mephistopheles,
but then Faustus discovers that he is only doing it out of unwillingness. The
only desire of Mephistopheles is to achieve Faustus’ soul. So therefore, Balram
and Faustus are both quite isolated.
this, Balram and Faustus have a lot of similarities regarding their
personality. They both have a great perseverance to climb up in the social
strata system. They are both religious but in the end, they dismiss their
religion to achieve their ambition. And Last
but not least, Balram and Faustus are both very lonely.