character of Ravi in Games at Twilight.
Games at Twilight by Anita Desai is a short story about a young boy’s despair generated from a realization of his insignificance. The writer uses a small boy Ravi as the protagonist to present her cause, and the actions of the story revolve around him. We come across his activities and by analyzing them we get an idea of his character. In the story we find some typical childish characteristics alongside some unusual ones in a child. Ravi is a fearful, insecure boy who, at the same time, is ambitious, resolute, sensitive, and emotional.
We don’t have a formal introduction of Ravi in the story. We don’t know who his parents are, or in which class he reads. Our first encounter with him presents him in panic when Raghu is searching for the hiders. “Ravi heard the whistling and picked up his nose in a panic, trying to find comfort by burrowing the finger deep—deep in that soft tunnel. He felt himself too exposed, sitting on an upturned flower pot behind the garage. Where could he burrow?”. This fear is a significant mark of Ravi’s character. We find him very afraid in the shed. He hunches himself into a ball so as not to bump into anything, touch or feel anything. When something tickles the back on his neck, he shivers. But most of all, he is afraid of being a nobody. His desire to win the game shows that he is very insecure and wants a firm position of respect among others.
It may seem outrageous to call a young and simple boy like Ravi ambitious. But I don’t use the word in the common material sense. Ravi doesn’t want to be a doctor, or engineer, or a millionaire. He just wants to win the game, he wishes to be known. In fact, he craves for attention. In the shed he contemplates on going out and decides to hold on a bit longer only in the hope of his win. “What fun if they were all found and caught—he alone left unconquered! He had never known that sensation.” From these sentences we find the true nature of Ravi’s...