What appropriate literary theory should we use to analyse "Games at Twilight" and the interaction among the children?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would suggest that approaching this story from a psychological standpoint would be most appropriate. Although Anita Desai is an author whose fiction can be analysed from the viewpoint of postcolonialism, at the same time, I think this story lends itself more to a psychological approach, as the epiphany that Ravi experiences at the end of this story makes clear. Consider what Ravi learns about himself:

He had wanted victory and triumph--not a funeral. But he had been forgotten, left out, and he would not join them now. 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.

Such a description reveals that the prime focus of this short story is Ravi's own psychological awareness of his own lack of significance. Note too the way that, ironically, Ravi refuses to play the funereal 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. This is an important psychological stage that we all have to go through as humans.

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