How would you analyse the interaction among the children in "Games at Twilight" from a social theory perspective?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would want to answer this question by analysing the way in which power is demonstrated and established in this group of children. If we look at this story, we can see that the children are often showed to jostle for position with each other, and the stronger show their position of dominance by preying on the weaker. Consider, for example, what happens when the children argue over who will be "It" at the beginning of the tale:

The shoves became harder. Some kicked out. The motherly Mira intervened. She pulled the boys roughly apart. There was a tearing sound of cloth, but it was lost in the heavy panting and angry grumbling, and no one paid attention to the small sleeve hanging loosely off a shoulder.

Violence is the natural recourse of these children to settling disputes, and here we see Mira exerting her strength and position of dominance to sort out the group of children. We have another example in Raghu, who deliberately flaunts his strength and power as he searches for the children:

"I know I have to, idiot," Raghu said, superciliously kicking him with his toe. "You're dead," he said with satisfaction, licking the beads of perspiration off his upper lip, and then stalked off in search of worthier prey, whistling spiritedly so that the hiders should hear and tremble.

Raghu's interaction with others is dominated by his greater size and strength and this is something that he deliberately exploits, even going as far as to make his presence known as he looks for the other children so that they could "tremble." We are presented with a world in which the interactions of the children are governed by size, strength and fear.

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Games at Twilight

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