Games at Twilight

by Anita Desai

Start Free Trial

Why does Ravi's decision to remain in the shed tell you about him?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Ravi's decision to stay in the shed tells me a couple of things about him. First, it tells me that he is a brave young boy. The shed is not used frequently. The text says that the door is open only once a year or so, so the shed is completely unknown to him. Plus it is a dark and confined space. I have little kids. They do not like their own bedroom unless a night light is on. The complete darkness freaks them out. Ravi is sitting in an unknown space in just about complete darkness, yet he doesn't bail on the situation. He sits tight for a long time. That tells me he is brave.  

Also with fear. It was dark, spooky in the shed. It had a muffled smell, as of graves. Ravi had once got locked into the linen cupboard and sat there weeping for half an hour before he was rescued. But at least that had been a familiar place, and even smelled pleasantly of starch, laundry, and, reassuringly, of his mother. But the shed smelled of rats, anthills, dust, and spider webs. Also of less definable, less recognizable horrors. And it was dark. Except for the white-hot cracks along the door, there was no light. The roof was very low.

Because Ravi stayed in the shed for a very long time, it also tells me that he is stubborn and wants to win...badly. The thought of losing is not something that Ravi is willing to contemplate. The drive to win allows him to overcome any fear that the shed might throw at him.  

Ravi sat back on the harsh edge of the tub, deciding to hold out a bit longer. What fun if they were all found and caught—he alone left unconquered! He had never known that sensation. Nothing more wonderful had ever happened to him than being taken out by an uncle and bought a whole slab of chocolate all to himself, or being flung into the soda man’s pony cart and driven up to the gate by the friendly driver with the red beard and pointed ears. 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.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team