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Reader’s Den

The Reader's Den Questions for Week 4: "The Rooster Coop"


In his novel, Adiga highlights the dichotomy between the rich and the poor. He discusses the poorer Indian peoples' subservient relationship with their rich masters and their reluctance to rebel against the establishment because of ingrained and learned beliefs passed down from generation to generation. The rooster coop reflects the desperate existence of the poor in India and the perpetual power of the rich to manipulate the system to suit their needs. "Hundreds of pale hens and brightly colored roosters, stuffed tightly into wire-mesh cages, packed as tightly as worms in a belly, pecking each other, jostling for breathing space; the whole cage giving off a horrible stench--the stench of terrified, feathered flesh. On the wooden desk above his coop sits a grinning young brother, showing off the flesh and organs of a recently chopped-up chicken, still oleaginous with a coating of dark blood. The roosters in the coop smell the blood from above. They see the organs of their brothers lying around them. They know they're next. Yet they do not rebel. They do not try to get out of the coop" (p.147).

What is Balram's perspective on how and why the Rooster Coop works?

To what extent is the narrator finally able to break this obedience to tradition?


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Balram believes that the

Balram believes that the chicken coop mentality exists because people are accustomed to follow tradition since birth. They are not encouraged to question the way things work. Balram questions the blind obedience to tradition and breaks the cycle.

I agree with the previous

I agree with the previous post. The people are indoctrinated and forced into accepting their socio-economic status from birth to birth, generation to generation. People do question the way things work, but not loud enough to be heard and those that try to break the cycle for the benefit of the people and not for self interest find it extremely difficult to overcome the power of the status quo. Balram learns to break the cycle by doing what the rich does to maintain their power and control over the masses. Kill, steal, and lie. Success and progress in a world ruled by cold, iron laws is achieved through the ideology of seeing people as property that can be killed, bought and sold in commerce without any conscious or guilt for the pain and suffering of others.

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