Games at Twilight

by Anita Desai

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How is child psychology explored in "Games at Twilight"?

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In "Games at Twilight," child psychology is explored through the perspective of Ravi. This gives us a privileged insight into the mind of a child who wants to be the best and to earn respect from the other children.

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Though the early part of “Games at Twilight” is written from a third-person standpoint, later on, the narrative shifts its focus to the boy Ravi's consciousness after he hides in an abandoned shed in a game of hide-and-seek.

Among other things, this shifting approach to the narrative gives us a privileged insight into the workings of a child's mind. In particular, it shows us just how competitive children can be, how important it is for them to be the best among their peers.

Ravi certainly wants to be the best. He yearns for the glory that he's sure will follow from his great victory in the hide-and-seek game. He wants nothing more than to be “a true winner, a breaker of records, a champion.” This is his big chance to earn respect from the other boys.

Desai, in her skillful understanding of child psychology, knows just how important it is for a child, especially a younger child like Ravi, who isn't particularly big or lucky, to have self-esteem and belief in themselves.

That's why it's all the more heartbreaking that poor Ravi should fail to achieve his goals; not because he's lost the game but because the others have stopped playing and have forgotten all about him.

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