For our Literature’s weekly virtual period we had to analyse a short story we had already read called “Games at Twilight” by Anita Desai. Here is the work that we did with Trini Torrendell.
Task 1: choose 10 quotes to analyze deep.
- …a poor, ruined and conquered city.
This quote is from the moment in which Ravi describes the shed that he is going to hide into, que describes it as a “poor” and “ruined” because inside the shed was full of rat holes, and spider webs, buckets with holes, and other valueless things that they owned. His mother only went inside the shed once a year, to fix the rat holes and remove the spider webs. Also he describes the shed as a “conquered city” because it had citizens of its, some of whom were the spiders and rats.
- …everything was still curtained and shuttered in a way that stifled the children, made them feel that their lungs were stuffed with cotton wool and their noses with dust…
This quote belong to the first paragraph of the story, is the introduction. In the paragraph we are told that the children’s mother wouldn’t let them go outside to play in the hot day, they were stuck inside the house, all of the blinds were shut, windows were closed, and they felt as “their lungs were stuffed with cotton wool and their noses with dust”. This phrase is to describe how the children were feeling in the hot day, they were dying basically, it was disgusting to feel the heat up their nose and down their lungs.
- …he had been forgotten, left out and he would not join them now.
This quote is from the final paragraph of the story. Ravi is feeling the ignominy of being forgotten. He cannot face it. He refuses to play with the other children to the funeral game, he wanted a victory, but he was so blinded by the feeling of it, that he actually forgot what he had to do to achieve it. Now he won’t play with the other children, he just laid on the grass, seeing his triumph fade away like a bad memory.
- …his voice broke with rage and pity at the disgrace of it all and he felt himself flooded with tears and misery.
This quote is from the moment in which Ravi comes out of the shed to claim he’s longed for victory, the moment he had been playing over and over in his head. But when he makes it through to the veranda and finally calls out his triumph, he realizes that the children were no longer playing hide and seek, they had changed the game, forgotten about him. It was as if his dream was thrown into the floor and crushed. He couldn’t believe, let alone face it. This quote shows exactly that feeling, the disgrace and the pity, the misery and pain of not having won.
- All this time no one had remembered Ravi.
This is when we are told that throughout the long hours that Rvi had been hiding in the shed, thinking about how to claim his victory, his family had moved on with their lives as any other ordinary afternoon, and no one had even noticed that he was missing. The children had ended and started many games, the parents had come back from work, washed their car, watered the plants. And when Ravi came out from his hiding to realize that no one had even noticed him gone, he couldn’t believe it. That moment is where this quote is taking us, to when Ravi realized he had been forgotten by his family.
- He hugged his knees together and smiled to himself almost shyly at the thought of so much victory, such laurels.
In this quote he imagine the sensation of winning this war in hide and seek and because of it he started feeling the adrenaline of the victory. He also thought about overcome his opponents specially Raghu who was the oldest one and this is why he started feeling this excitement and was very anxious about it. All that he wanted at this part of the story was to try that taste of victory and feel superior to others by showing his abilities in this game which was very important for him. He wanted to prove that he could do it!
- Ravi shook, then shivered with delight, with self-congratulation.
This quote described Ravi’s feeling at the middle of the story. It says that Ravi was a little bit scared but also happy because he hide in an interesting place where it was difficult to be seen. He was a little bit nervous because of the adrenaline of run and hide in some other place as he had the risk that he could be seen. He was feeling the victory as he could hide in an another place. This place was a little bit dark and with some insects but it was a very intelligent position for the game and he was very brave for running up the there and risking his life.
- The scent of earth receiving water, slaking its thirst in great gulps and releasing that green scent of freshness, coolness.
This quote describes the the moment of the twilight and it admired how is nature formed by and Ali think it showed the part of every story when the end is coming soon and something would change everything as it is all the scenery relax and quiet. This was the moment when Ravi realized the time of the day it was as he would see the twilight and it’s show. Victory was so near that he could also feel it! The end was coming and he was prepared for it !
- What fun if they were all found and caught – he alone left unconquered!
This phrase took part of Ravi’s objective in this game. He wanted to win! But not sharing the victory with another partner, he wished to be the only champion in this game and have all the triumph and happiness for himself. This quote showed how awesome it would be if all his opponents ,who ,by the way were his brothers and sisters, were caught and lose the game. If this happened he would have more chances to win and he will be invictus. This quote also shows how a kid always wants to win and how he would find his own happiness just by winning a game against his family without receiving any material prize, only honor and triumph.
- He wanted victory and triumph- not a funeral.
In this quote we can see that the narrator is describing Ravi’s thoughts. He didn’t want to be a loser. He wanted to win this game. When you are a kid games like hide and seek are taking very seriously, in this case the protagonist saw this game as if it was life or death. If Ravi wins he will be safe and with triumph and honor but if he lose this game he will be death and having a “funeral”. This thoughts helped him to continue playing
Task 2: Focus on the theory of Rite of Passage and write a paragraph commenting on this.
The theory of rite of Passage consists of five elements, the first one being the object of desire that the protagonist cannot get, in our case for Ravi the object he could not obtain was the victory, the possibility to defeat Raghu. The second element is “trespassing” when the children go outside and play in the veranda despite of the fact that their mother told them they could not do so. The third element is the “dare or challenge” which in our case is the entering of Ravi to the shed, despite of it being a dark and scary place. The fourth element in Rite of Passage is the “mischief” that should be owned up, but we do not see this element present in the story , because Ravi does respond to the fact of having lost, in a mature way, he does not own up to it. The final element is “acceptance” which does not occur in this story, Ravi cannot accept the fact that he has lost and that the game is over. So we see that he has not truly grown up, the Rite of Passage has not been completed and he has not grown at all, he is still a kid.