Anita Desai

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In the story "Games at Twilight," what are the internal and external conflicts?

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Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The children occupy a central place in Anita Desai’s story, with the parents relegated to a peripheral role. The external conflicts primarily concern the aggressive behavior of one boy, Raghu, who relentlessly bullies the other children. He is presented as a person of action rather than of reflection. The author narrates his treatment of the other children, revealing his desire to overpower and physically as well as emotionally harm them. The primary internal conflict is shown within Ravi, who in every regard seems Raghu’s antithesis. While we learn of his actions, we are given more insight into his internal makeup.

The sensitive nature of Ravi in some ways transcends his individual identity. By emphasizing the qualities that make him so susceptible to Raghu’s bullying, the author also suggests why a group of children have become victimized by a single aggressor. Initially, his fear seems extreme compared to that of the other children, and he feels alienated from them. Locating a...

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