The White Tiger


Aravind Adiga

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Wen Jiabao Character Analysis

The Chinese Premier to whom Balram addresses his letter and narrates his life story. Jiabao is a visiting Chinese official who expresses interest in learning the secrets of Indian entrepreneurship, so he can return to foster entrepreneurship in China. Balram knows that Jiabao will only learn the official story of Indian business from the politicians he meets, which is why he takes it upon himself to tell Jiabao the truth about entrepreneurialism in his country by using himself as an example.

Wen Jiabao Quotes in The White Tiger

The The White Tiger quotes below are all either spoken by Wen Jiabao or refer to Wen Jiabao. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Self-Made Man Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Free Press edition of The White Tiger published in 2008.
Chapter 5: The Fifth Night Quotes

“The Rooster Coop was doing its work. Servants have to keep other servants from becoming innovators, experimenters, or entrepreneurs. Yes, that’s the sad truth, Mr. Premier. The coop is guarded from the inside.”

Related Characters: Balram Halwai (speaker), Wen Jiabao, Vitiligo-Lips
Related Symbols: The Rooster Coop
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8: The Seventh Night Quotes

“There is no end to things in India, Mr. Jiabao, as Mr. Ashok so correctly used to say. You’ll have to keep paying and paying the fuckers. But I complain about the police the way the rich complain; not the way the poor complain.”

Related Characters: Balram Halwai (speaker), Mr. Ashok, Wen Jiabao
Page Number: 266
Explanation and Analysis:

“Yet...even if they throw me in jail...Ill say it was all worthwhile to know, just for a day, just for an hours, just for a minute, what it means not to be a servant. I think I am ready to have children, Mr. Premier.”

Related Characters: Balram Halwai (speaker), Wen Jiabao
Page Number: 276
Explanation and Analysis:
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Wen Jiabao Character Timeline in The White Tiger

The timeline below shows where the character Wen Jiabao appears in The White Tiger. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: The First Night
The Self-Made Man Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
...Ashok Sharma), the novel’s narrator and protagonist, begins composing a letter to Chinese official Wen Jiabao, who is visiting India on diplomacy. Balram expresses his excitement as a local businessman that... (full context)
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
Morality and Indian Society Theme Icon
To set the scene for Jiabao, Balram describes the luxurious Bangalore office from which he writes, and explains that he will... (full context)