Games at Twilight

by Anita Desai

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In the story "Games at Twilight," how does the suspense help build your interest in the final scene?

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"Games at Twilight" is a wonderful story, and the suspense that Desai builds within the story is a huge reason as for why the story is so good and motivates young readers to finish the story. The story is shaped around an already somewhat suspenseful game. Hide and seek can be a nerve-wracking game, and most readers are likely familiar with the anxious feelings present when waiting to be found. Ravi has these feelings, and they are intensified due to the seeker being Raghu who is not known for treating the little kids very nicely. Ravi is genuinely afraid of Raghu and does not want to be found.

Once it is clear to Ravi that his hiding spot is a good one, he begins having visions of victory and grandeur. He is imagining all of the potential praises being heaped on him after he makes it back to the veranda. His excitement is palpable, and readers find themselves rooting for Ravi to win. We see his dedication to the hiding spot and his excitement at winning, yet we don't know if he will actually be victorious. This is a classic way to build suspense, and it has proven especially effective in a lot of sports movies. Audiences root for the hero, but we also realize that losing is a real possibility.

Ravi dashes to the den to claim his victory, and all of that suspense is released in the most disheartening fashion. The other kids have forgotten all about Ravi and have moved on to a different game. Nobody even thinks of congratulating him on hiding so well for so long.

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