This material may consist of step-by-step explanations on how to solve a problem or examples of proper writing, including the use of citations, references, bibliographies, and formatting. This material is made available for the sole purpose of studying and learning - misuse is strictly forbidden.Letter Writing, Subjectivity, and Post-Colonial Identity: , Aravind Adiga’s White Tiger
Novels do their best, more than any artform, to project the illusion of subjectivity. One fashionable method to achieve subjectivity in novels is the use of the letter. So-called epistolary novels are immediate, and they feel as if the character is speaking in ear-shot. A letter is a personal document, and it is intended for a sender. The reader becomes intertwined between the character’s voice, the implied recipient, and the feeling of being an interlocutor of events that are private and secretive. Aravind Adiga’s novel White Tiger is a curious form of the epistolary novel. The protagonist, Halwai tells his story as a series of letters to the sovereign of Japan, his Excellency Wen Jiabao. The absurdity the literary choice to write a letter is oddly funny — and disturbing. Jiabao will not receive the letter. However, Halwai’s voice is both earnest, disaffecting, and annoyingly cloying. He wants our (the Premier’s) attention. Although the use of the letter form is often used in novels to evince a mode of subjectivity that is lost in other narrative forms, I argue in this paper that the author’s choice to use the epistolary novel form is actually to show the absurdity of identity, and to drive home the point that even in the private letters of Halwai, no one has a voice....