Games at Twilight

by Anita Desai

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In the beginning of "Games At Twilight," why are the children so eager to go outside and play?

The children are so eager to play outside that they feel like they will choke if they do not get outside. The children are so hot, that the heat of the outdoors is more desirable than being cooped up in the house.

Expert Answers

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The children in the story "Games at Twilight" are super eager to play outside, because they have been cooped up inside all day.  On top of being imprisoned inside all day, the house that they are in is oppressively hot and stagnant feeling.  The opening line of the story tells readers that it was too hot to play outside.  That has got to be really hot.  I have three young kids of my own, and I live in Southern California.  There has never been a day that my children have told me it was too hot to play outside.  For children, the discomfort of the weather is a small price to pay for the chance to play.  And play anything.  

The story tells readers that it is hot outside, but the story also tells readers that it is hot inside the house too.  

Their faces were red and bloated with the effort, but their mother would not open the door, 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 and if they didn’t burst out into the light and see the sun and feel the air, they would choke.

In the minds of the kids, it's hot inside and outside.  At least outside they get to run around and have fun.  Inside the house, they have little choice other than to just sit around and think about how uncomfortable they are.  They desperately want the freedom that the outdoors will bring them. 

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