Aravind Adiga’s Last Man in Tower: Study in Globalized Culture
Keywords:Globalization, Collective Antagonist, Social and Cultural Values
Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga is a novel on the cultural situation of India in the globalized context. The novel presents a conflict between an old man with traditional principles and a Mumbai builder with hawk-like avarice. The temporal setting is the dawn of the twenty first century, that has considerably changed the culture of the nation. The spatial setting is Mumbai, a city with very little space for horizontal development and a lot of opportunities for those who can manipulate the law-enforcing agencies. The social setting of the novel is mostly the middle and upper-middle class people with their own unrealized dreams and ambitions. The plot of the novel is unearthed by an omniscient narrator. The protagonist of the novel, Yogesh Murthy alias Masterji, picked up the gauntlet against an antagonist with gradually increasing force and violence. Dharmen Shah, the antagonist, enticed and almost bought all the inhabitants of the Tower A of the Vishram Society of Vakola in Mumbai with the sole intention of converting a structure under decline into a state-of-the-art apartment. The division of the inhabitants of the Vishram Society resembles the partition of India. The strategies adopted by Dharmen Shah sound an imitation of ‘divide and rule policy’ of the British government. The single-handed battle for values launched by Masterji reminds us of the non-violent struggle for independence. Besides, the story in the novel presents a society trapped by the forces of globalization, where age-old values of fraternity and fellow-feeling are devastated by temptations of wealth and power. Dharmen Shah can be considered as the successor to the protagonist of Adiga’s debut novel The White Tiger. The two novels of Adiga portray an India where ends are realized by employing foul means, values are surrendered in favour of self-advancing action and power is achieved by abusing both the powerless and the powerful. Adiga, thus, comprehensively brings out the awful socio-cultural shift and the degradation of human values in the Indian society in another of his fictional work.