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Themes, Atmosphere and my favourite character in the story "Games at Twilight" by Anita Desai

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Q1.Discuss the theme of childhood as presented in "Games at Twilight" by Anita Desai. A1. In "Games at Twilight" Anita Desai has the ability to portray childhood in all of its excitement and exhilaration, innocence, vulnerability, and even heartached. The theme of childhood is one that encompasses all of those attributes, and is shown through the children themselves as they play a common and well-known game of hide 'n' go seek. Childhood is exciting--you can sense the children's excitement as they are freed from the confines of the hot house and let out into the air to play. Desai writes, excited to be outside and free to play. Excitement and exhilaration is also seen in Ravi as he finds an excellent spot to hide, and imagines his victory; he "shook, then shivered with delight, with self-congratulation" at his spot, and that the bully Raghu didn't find him. Childhood is filled with innocence and vulnerability also; note the poor child that gets caught by Raghu, who ends up in tears as Raghu kicks him. ...read more.


Did you ever cram into a spot and get super nervous as whoever was "it" got closer and closer? Did you feel the burst of speed and adrenaline as you raced as fast as you could to the home base? Did you ever hide in your spot and imagine the victorious triumph you would have if you weren't found and ended up winning? And if not, have you ever felt ostracized and left out by friends? If so, then it is easy to feel for Ravi. He experiences all of these emotions, and then at the end, as he is super excited to have been the winner, and realizes no one cares, he is devastated. Desai describes his feelings very well: "The ignominy 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." How can you not be moved by his despair? ...read more.


Desai writes that being indoors "made them feel that their lungs were stuffed with cotton wool and their noses with dust and if they didn?t burst out into the light and see the sun and feel the air, they would choke." So the story opens with this feeling of tense restlessness, of being oppressed and wanting to be elsewhere. But then, as the children are let out, the atmosphere changes to one of ecstatic giddiness; they run free, screaming and jumping, and the mood is one of excitement and joy. The total abandonment and freedom of childhood games is felt in the atmosphere. Then, the atmosphere becomes one of chaos as the kids try to decide what to do, what to play, and who is to be "it" in their game of hide 'n' seek. The, the tension increases again as they struggle to find good hiding places, and as Ravi perches in the garage, that tension increases until Raghu passes by. Throughout the story, the atmosphere changes moods as quickly as the children change moods, which is often. It reflects beautifully the transient and intense joys and miseries of childhood, chronicalling the moods of it well. I hope that those thoughts help; good luck! ...read more.

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