Games at Twilight

by Anita Desai

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Describe the character of Raghu in Games at Twilight by Anita Desai.

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Raghu is a minor character in this short story, featured briefly at the beginning.  The story is about a group of children that are allowed outside to play hide and go seek.  Raghu, since he is the oldest, is nominated to be "It", to which he protests, starting a scuffle.  A mother has to intervene and they play a game to determine who is It, and Raghu ends up being It anyway. When he is forced into being It, he whines, "You cheated—Mira cheated—Anu cheated—," weedling off assorted reasons as to why it wasn't fair that he was it.  Then, in a fit of petulance, he insists that everyone stay on "the porch—Ma said—Ma said to stay in the porch!" He wants to make his job at seeking easier, and falls back on the "Mom told us to" argument to try to get his way.  Later, when he is finished counting and sees the small and frightened Manu, he "charged after him with such a bloodcurdling yell" that Manu trips and weeps at being caught, to which Raghu just kicks him.  The last telling description is when he goes off to hunt other kids,

"whistling spiritedly so that the hiders should hear and tremble. "

So, all being said, Raghu is a pretty unlikable kid.  He whines, starts fights, picks on the little kids, and enjoys striking fear into the hearts of people.  Raghu is a bit of a bully, and a whiney, petulant one at that.  He complains when he doesn't get his way, physically assaults those smaller and weaker than him, enjoys making people feel afraid, and under all of his macho bravado, is a bit of a snivelling mama's boy.  :)  I hope that those descriptions help; good luck!

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In "Games at Twilight" by Anita Desai, explain the character of Raghu.

Raghu is just a minor character in this excellent short story, with the main focus being on Ravi and his sensitivity and development. However, we are given a number of indications about Raghu and his character. He is Ravi's elder brother, and seems to be presented as a typical boy. He is quick to fight and show his physical dominance over Ravi at the beginning as they argue about who is to be It in their game. He likewise protests when he is selected to be It by fair means. He clearly thinks a lot of himself and regards himself as being superior to others. Consider this quote after Raghu has captured his first victim, Manu.

"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.

Certainly Ravi himself is fearful of Raghu and his "long, hefty, hairy footballer legs." However, the above quote does show the sense of phsyical dominance that Raghu feels he possesses, and how he likes to be a bit of a bully and flaunt his strength in the face of the weakness of the other characters. This of course would make Ravi's victory against Raghu all the more glorious.

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