(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

As the title of this story indicates, the characters are playing a game that comes to an end at the close of the narrative. Letitia, Holanda, and the narrator spend their summer vacation thinking of ways either to confuse or to elude the authority figures in their lives, the narrator’s mother and her Aunt Ruth. When they manage to escape the watchful eyes of the adults, Letitia, Holanda, and the narrator retreat to their “kingdom,” an area near the railroad tracks where they can act out their game and thus enter into a fantasy world of “Statues and Attitudes.”

The game consists of deciding on a statue or an attitude that each of the girls will portray, and then striking a pose to express that statue or attitude. The attitudes—Fear, Envy, Jealousy—are done without props, but the statues—Venus, the Ballerina—require the use of ornaments, which the girls have gathered from the house. What begins as an exercise in freedom and liberation from the world of adults becomes a game of the discovery of adolescent sexuality, even though the girls do not understand it as such.

Although there is no specific information in the story about the relationship of the three girls or their age, it is evident that they are cousins or sisters, and that they are probably thirteen or fourteen years old. Holanda and the narrator understand the world of adults, for they know exactly how to create excitement in the house by spilling hot water on the cat,...

(The entire section is 585 words.)