Games at Twilight

by Anita Desai

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Please give some examples of foreshadowing in "Games at Twilight."

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There are certainly a number of very specific images in this rich, visual work of literature that suggest loss and death, which could be said to foreshadow the "death" of Ravi at the end of this excellent story about childhood. You might want to consider analysing any one of the following list of these images: the fading of the daylight, the response of the plants and the animals to the heat, Ravi's isolation in the tomblike shed, the discarded objects, the squashed spider, and the funereal song of the children's game. Clearly, all of these images are used to suggest isolation, disenchantment and emptiness, that relate to the central message of the story.

Perhaps the most important image to focus on is the game at the end that the children are playing. Note what they are singing:

"The grass is green,

The rose is red;

Remember me

When I am dead, dead, dead, dead..."

Note how this song presents Nature as being completely indifferent to the death of the speaker. Nature continues to blossom and flower, but the speaker contemplates his own death in the face of that and feels marginalised and insignificant as a result. Of course this echoes the way that the children have forgotten Ravi and his own "death" of innocence that he experiences at the end of the tale.

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