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Games at Twilight by Anita Desai

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 894
  • Category: Mother

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After reading and analyzing this story, I discovered two major criticisms that are presented in this short story. First is the social theory from the interaction among the children. The story begins when their mother open the door and allow them to play outside. Here, it shows their wild energies as they burst out violently as in the sentence, “They burst out like crackling seeds from a crackling overripe pod on to the verandah, with such loud maniacal yells”. All of them didn’t want to wait any longer to play outside, as they ran out, they quickly start their business, which is play. The elder girl in the story shows a motherly character, Mira, who is known to as the motherly type, conducted the game and the rest didn’t hesitate.

At this point, it shows that, all of them respect her and Mira, who had to be in control for the game to start. It also shows that, they are closed in relationship as they played together without leaving anyone out. From the social view, the elder is always picking onto the younger ones. Like Raghu, who is quick to fight and show his physical dominance over Ravi at the beginning as they argue about who is to be the seeker in their game. He likewise protests when he is selected to be the seeker by fair means. He clearly thinks a lot of himself and regards himself as being superior to others. Even when Raghu has captured his first victim, Manu, it shows in the sentence, “I know I have to, idiot,” Raghu said, superciliously kicking him with his toe.

“You’re dead,” he said with satisfaction, licking the beads of perspiration off his upper lip, and then stalked off in search of worthier prey, whistling spiritedly so that the hiders should hear and tremble”. It also shows that he is proud of the power that he has because he was in control of the game. From the psychological theory, Ravi is shows lack of confidence as in the sentence,”but he hadn’t much faith in his short legs when matched against Raghu’s long, hefty, hairy footballer legs.” Ravi who at first was afraid hiding in the shed felt almost relieved to hear Raghu, hears his stick. It made him feel protected. It shows that from feeling insecure he felt safe. He also shows significant mark of fear. He is very afraid in the shed. He hunches himself into a ball so as not to bump into anything, touch or feel anything. When something tickles the back on his neck, he shivers.

It shows that he is afraid of being nobody. Besides that, his desire to win the game shows that he wants a firm position of respect among others. He started felling delighted at the thought of him becoming the winner. If Raghu could not find him, he will come out of the shed after sometime and will tell everybody that he is the winner. He will be the unconquered hero. He started feeling very excited. And moreover he was very delighted with the idea of beating Raghu, who is the champion and to be the winner of all older children, he feels shy of his coming victory. After Ravi comes out of the shed feeling very excited, he hears children voices chanting and singing. He was confused. Then he remembered that he has to touch the den in order to win.

So he started running towards children shouting “den”. They all look confused. He fell down and hurt himself. But children had forgotten him. They have completed playing hide and seek and started playing another. All this time, no one had remembered Ravi, he was out of their mind. Ravi feels forgotten and left out by the others. The poor young child realises the sense of nothingness and nonbeing. To Ravi, the children appear “dead,” just as he has been forgotten by them. Ravi’s hope to win the game was crushed as not one of them realised his disappearance. No one cared.

Even his mother didn’t understand him, “mother rose from her basket chair and came toward him, worried, annoyed, saying, “Stop it, stop it, Ravi. Don’t be a baby. Have you hurt yourself?”” He had wanted victory and triumph not a funeral. But he had been forgotten, left out, and he would not join them now. The feeling of being forgotten, how could he face it? He felt his heart go heavy and ache inside him unbearably. He lay down full length on the damp grass, crushing his face into it, no longer crying, silenced by a terrible sense of his insignificance. Such a description reveals that the prime focus of this short story is Ravi’s own psychological awareness of his own lack of significance.

Ironically, Ravi refuses to play the game yet he has experienced a kind of death that he becomes aware of the death of his innocence. His personal concerns, although so important to him, are disregarded by everybody else. In conclusion, this short story is about a young boy’s despair generated from a realisation of his insignificance. Ravi as the protagonist presents the cause and actions of the story that revolve around him. Ravi is a fearful, insecure boy who, at the same time, is ambitious, resolute, sensitive, and emotional.

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