In the book "Games at Twilight", what details do you notice that show this story is not taking place in the United States? Is Ravi’s experience unique to his culture?

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"Games at Twilight" is a short story written by Anita Desai and published in 1978. While the setting in terms of a country is not specifically given to readers, the text does give readers enough information for a reader to confidently assume that the events in the story...

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"Games at Twilight" is a short story written by Anita Desai and published in 1978. While the setting in terms of a country is not specifically given to readers, the text does give readers enough information for a reader to confidently assume that the events in the story are not taking place in the United States. The opening lines of the story tell readers that the children have all had their afternoon tea. That is not a typical American activity. Another hint comes in the second paragraph. We are told that the children beg to play out in the "veranda and porch." Houses in the United States can have those things, but they aren't common for much of the country. Additionally that phrasing isn't common among children from the United States. None of that is definitive proof, but paragraph four finally gives readers a very specific item that likely places the story in India.

"No—we won’t, we won’t,'' they wailed so horrendously that she actually let down the bolt of the front door so that they burst out like seeds from a crackling, overripe pod into the veranda, with such wild, maniacal yells that she retreated to her bath and the shower of talcum powder and the fresh sari that were to help her face the summer evening.

The woman in the story finally lets the children outside, and she then quickly retreats to the house. Notice what she puts on. She puts on a fresh "sari." A sari is clothing worn by women in India. It is a drape of varying lengths that is typically wrapped around the waist with one end draped over the shoulder. A bit later readers are told about eucalyptus trees. Those are common in southern California, but the parrots that fly out of them are not common to the United States.

Then, perhaps roused by the shrieks of the children, a band of parrots suddenly fell out of the eucalyptus tree, tumbled frantically in the still, sizzling air, then sorted themselves out into battle formation and streaked away across the white sky.

I also think that the children's names help readers understand that the story is not taking place in the United States. Mira, Ravi, Raghu, Anu, and Manu are not typical American names.

As for the second question being asked about Ravi's experience being unique to his culture, I would have to disagree. Ravi is scared of a bigger bully type character, and Ravi dreams that his heroic hiding spot will earn him many adoring fans.

To defeat Raghu—that hirsute, hoarse-voiced football champion—and to be the winner in a circle of older, bigger, luckier children—that would be thrilling beyond imagination. He hugged his knees together and smiled to himself almost shyly at the thought of so much victory, such laurels.

I think that imaging yourself as a conquering hero is a fairly standard childhood dream regardless of the society and culture.

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