In "The Tiger in the Tunnel," who is tragic?

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Baldeo strikes me as the most tragic figure in Bond's "The Tiger in the Tunnel."

Baldeo is tragic because reality dictates his freedom.  In the story's opening, Baldeo "stretched himself slowly unwinding the heavy shawl that covered him. It was close on midnight and the chill air made...

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Baldeo strikes me as the most tragic figure in Bond's "The Tiger in the Tunnel."

Baldeo is tragic because reality dictates his freedom.  In the story's opening, Baldeo "stretched himself slowly unwinding the heavy shawl that covered him. It was close on midnight and the chill air made him shiver."  He does not choose to wake up at such an odd hour.  He must do so in order to make money and provide for his family:  "Their small rice fields did not provide them with more than a bare living..."  Baldeo is tragic because external reality plays a definitive role in how he lives his life.

His tragic nature is further illuminated when he confronts the tiger.  Bond writes "There was no shelter for Baldeo."  This operates on a literal level of tragedy because he has no choice but to confront the tiger, almost foreshadowing a brutal end for him.  However, this statement also highlights Baldeo's tragic state of being.  There is no sanctuary for him.  He is forlorn, set apart from any force that can save or help him.  

Baldeo is tragic because he does what he has to do, something that leads to his demise.  When seen in this light, Baldeo's existence is filled with sorrow and pain.  There is little in the narrative that points to happiness for Baldeo. 

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