Games at Twilight

by Anita Desai

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Why do the children stop searching for Ravi in Games at Twilight?

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In “Games at Twilight,” Ravi is younger than all the other children.  It is partly for this reason that he remains so long in his hiding place; he is intent on winning the game of hide-and-seek, “to be the winner in a circle of older, bigger, luckier children.”  We can therefore assume that the others have a stronger connection with each other than they do with Ravi; he is not a part of their peer group.  It is partly for this reason that they forget about him – he is young, and is therefore somewhat of an afterthought in the fast-moving minds of the older children.

In addition to this detail, after Raghu, who had been It, found all the others, there had been an intense fight about who would be It next; in the immediacy of trying to avoid being It, one could imagine that any other thought was forced from the children’s minds.  And when their mother comes outside to put the argument to rest and make them play a different game, the children move on, living in the moment and forgetting everything that came before.  Even when Ravi finally appears, the children are not sympathetic or apologetic for having forgotten him; this sort of attitude is typical of other siblings and their friends toward younger siblings, especially at a young age, and further emphasizes that Ravi does not wholly belong.

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