Games at Twilight

by Anita Desai

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Explain the character of Raghu in Games at Twilight by Anita Desai.

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Raghu is a minor character in this short story, featured briefly at the beginning.  The story is about a group of children that are allowed outside to play hide and go seek.  Raghu, since he is the oldest, is nominated to be "It", to which he protests, starting a scuffle.  A mother has to intervene and they play a game to determine who is It, and Raghu ends up being It anyway. When he is forced into being It, he whines, "You cheated—Mira cheated—Anu cheated—," weedling off assorted reasons as to why it wasn't fair that he was it.  Then, in a fit of petulance, he insists that everyone stay on "the porch—Ma said—Ma said to stay in the porch!" He wants to make his job at seeking easier, and falls back on the "Mom told us to" argument to try to get his way.  Later, when he is finished counting and sees the small and frightened Manu, he "charged after him with such a bloodcurdling yell" that Manu trips and weeps at being caught, to which Raghu just kicks him.  The last telling description is when he goes off to hunt other kids,

"whistling spiritedly so that the hiders should hear and tremble. "

So, all being said, Raghu is a pretty unlikable kid.  He whines, starts fights, picks on the little kids, and enjoys striking fear into the hearts of people.  Raghu is a bit of a bully, and a whiney, petulant one at that.  He complains when he doesn't get his way, physically assaults those smaller and weaker than him, enjoys making people feel afraid, and under all of his macho bravado, is a bit of a snivelling mama's boy.  :)  I hope that those descriptions help; good luck!

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