Sometimes after reading a book, I feel the strong urge to wash myself outwardly in order to somehow purge my soul of the filth that built up while I read. I don't always think this is a bad thing; in fact, like the actors I despise because of roles they played, I think it speaks to the power of the novel. The White Tiger had this effect on me. I felt little sympathy for the main character simply because nothing in his life is anything remotely close to my own experiences. The one blatant realization I've had is that Balsam is not shocked by his actions because that is just the way Life is.