The White Tiger highlights a fairly pessimistic view of the heart of rural India. The two most dramatically portrayed characteristics are poverty and the caste system. The caste system is one in which people’s parentage determines not only their social status, but the jobs for which they are eligible, whom they can marry, what they can eat, and with whom they can associate. One particularly important aspect to the vision of rural poverty portrayed in The White Tiger is the notion that perhaps education, combined with migration to the city, will be an escape from cycle of poverty and the trap of caste – but of course this doesn’t really work for the narrator.
The importance of family and ubiquity of corruption are also thematically important in the novel’s vision of village life.