Date of Award

Fall 10-10-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Sonali Perera

Second Advisor

Tanya Agathocleous

Academic Program Adviser

Janet Neary


Aravind Adiga’s novel, The White Tiger, represents gender hierarchies and the class struggle of India’s neoliberal present. Adiga uses elements of satire and allegory to teach us something about how women are differently positioned in the neoliberal system. David Harvey in A Brief History of Neoliberalism defines neoliberalism as “a theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade” (2). I will consider the novel, alongside Chandra Mohanty’s Under Western Eyes” and Betty Joseph’s “Neoliberalism and Allegory, in relation to the class divide and representation of rural and urban women in the neoliberal setting of The White Tiger. I argue that the intranational class divisions complicate and texture general (and hegemonic) formulas of “third world” women. Over the course of my thesis, I attempt to unpack the binary structures of light and dark, rural and urban, modern and backward through an investigation of the characters Kusum and Pinky Madam.



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