1) |Games at Twilight |In this story we observe how does high society in India lives. | | |This family lived in a big house with a porch, a big garden in | | |which children could play and a garage with a driver. Summer in| | |India is so intense, that even high-society suffers form the | | |extreme heat.
That’s why children couldn’t children couldn’t go| | |outside to play, however workers at the outside of the house | | |continued working. | |Private tuition by Mr. Bose |Mr. Bose earned his money working as a private teacher.
He had | | |to work all day because he had to support his family, which was| | |formed by his wife and son. He thought Sanskrit, a language | | |that comes from the origins of India. Indians never forget | | |about this part and in this case, uses it for supporting his | | |family. |Studies in the park |Suno’s family was worried about his studies and pushed him to | | |study all the time because in India if you don’t study you | | |won’t have many possibilities. There people make lots of | | |activities outside, in the park.
When Suno started to study | | |there and looked at different people’s reality he questioned | | |himself what was he doing. | |Surface textures |We can see how money generates trouble in families. In this | | |situation the father, Harish, ends alone and starts to live his| | |own reality turning into a “Swami”.
This shows part of their | | |culture because the swami is an Indian icon. | |Sale |In this story we observe that high-classes in India don’t mind | | |in going into slums or into low-class neighborhoods and that | | |they can admire the work they do.
Another fact to take into | | |account is the necessity of the artist, who is from the low | | |society, of selling a painting to obtain some money. | |Pineapple cake |Mrs. Fernandez is a mother from the low class but she desires | | |to belong to the high society.
She wants to take the wedding as| | |an opportunity to demonstrate the people she can belong, that’s| | |why she is all the time looking after the Victor’s attitude and| | |appearance. |The Accompanist |This is the clear example that sometimes people can be happy | | |only by reaching his own dream and aren’t worried of being the | | |“best”. Also we can see that as in this case, Bhai was obliged | | |to play an instrument by his father, co kids sometimes don’t | | |choose what to be. |Farewell Party |In this story we have the opposite way of seeing the importance| | |of being part of the high society. Although Bina and his | | |husband are part from the high class, they think taking care of| | |their kids and being with people they like is the most | | |important. |Devoted son |This story shows that in India is really difficult to have good| | |education when you are not from the high-class. Only one person| | |in lots of people from low-class can end with a successful | | |university carrier, as in this case does Rakesh.
But we can use| | |this case to learn that no matter the economic situation, with | | |effort anyone can reach it objective. | |Scholar and Gipsy |We observe a a woman, Pat, that finds really different | | |Occidental than Oriental culture.
At first she can’t get used | | |to that change but, then he understands people in India live a | | |truthful life, simpler and transparent. | |Pigeons at daybreak |In this story we notice again the presence of the extreme heat | | |and how people can’t deal with it.
We can also see again the | | |importance they give to family in the way Otima looks after Mr. | | |Basu and how says his grandson’s name over and over to himself,| | |like a prayer when he was unable to sleep. | 2) In Desai’s stories are people with entirely individual characters. In Games at twilight” Ravi feels trapped when his mother keeps him indoors; he feels ‘panic’ as Raghu approaches his hiding place and ‘fear’ as he desperately looks for a better place to hide; he feels ‘delight’ and ‘self-congratulation’ when he avoids capture by hiding in the shed. When he charges the other children and bawls: ‘I won’ he is forced to realize that the other children have moved on and not even noticed his absence: at this point he feels a terrible sense of his insignificance. In “Private tuition at Mr. Bose”, Mr.
Bose is a hard working man who earns his money by giving private tuitions. Sometimes he wonders whether it is fair he has to work all day to support his family and gets nervous, but after a while he reaches as a conclusion that he loves his family and must work in anything for after enjoy them. In “Studies at the park” Suno is a young Indian man who decides to reject his family’s scholarly objective besides he is pushed by them. He has the courage to decide for his satisfaction, in favor of a life of exploration and human nature.
Harish from “Surface textures” becomes lost in the texture of all things around him and is oblivious of his family as well the society. This state in which he enters makes him loose his family and wins some respect from people when he turns into a Swami. In “Pineapple cake” Mrs. Fernandez is from low-class. This is an important fact because she wants to belong to the high-class; she is all the time looking after Victor, and his actions because she wants to be at that people’s level. She wants to enjoy every single thing because she is being part of a high society event.
In “The accompanist” Bhai is really sure of what he wants. At first he is kind of afraid of Ustad’s reaction or thoughts about him, but when he wins his confidence with him he feels the best tampura player in the world and in spite of his childhood friends comments, telling him he could be a great musician on his own, hi thought he was happy as he was and his admiration for Ustad was bigger. In “Farewell Party” Bina has 3 children, one of them spastic. She is the hostess of the party; she didn’t enjoy the party at first because she didn’t mind to be with the high-class people, she wanted to be with people she really likes.
In “Sale” the artist is from a very low-class, he is a really creative man and is unbelievable how he obtains that imagination surrounded of the smog, industries and poverty. He is in a really hard economic situation and is desperate to sell his paintings and in that way earn some money. In some moments he is so nervous that it seems he is capable of doing anything for some money Rakesh is a “Devoted son”, he had won a scholarship and studied medicine in USA. After that he returned to India and started to advance in his career. He returned with some occidental manners.
He is a good-natured man who contrived somehow to obey his parents and humor his wife and show concern equally for his children and his patients. But there was actually a brain inside that body of good manners and kindness, in between ministering to his family and friends, playing lost to many friends and coaxing them all into feeling happy and grateful. As he was an excellent doctor and studied in USA he felt obliged to look after his family health, and be in good conditions. 3) In most of Desai’s stories meeting of eastern and western culture is constantly.
When we notice some occidental costumes it is often in high society, as regards the ways of living, aspirations that it’s related directly with the education they could reach. One example can be “Devoted son”, that shows us that in low classes in India, it’s almost a miracle to have the opportunity of having an university career and become a professional, but in the story they don’t take into account, the effort he has made to achieve that chance. Western and eastern cultures are even nowadays so different that when he returns from USA some eople can’t understand Rakesh, because he is changed, he is not the same boy that had the dream of becoming a doctor. He has incorporated American ideas and culture. That’s why his people and mostly his father can’t understand some decisions he takes. The clearest example is when Varma was living the last times of his life, Rakesh decided he had to start eating diet food and have medicines, because he didn’t want him to die, his father for him was the man who gave him the possibility of being who he is, so he felt the pressure of taking care of him.
However, his father a man with real Indian thoughts didn’t understand his vision and thought Rakesh didn’t want to give his “poor father” to eat. “Look after me? ” “He does not even give me enough to eat”. This lack of comprehension shows that the differences in the meeting of the two cultures can create confusions. Other example is “Scholar and gipsy”. This story is very different from the same named, but we still see the big difference between occidental and oriental costumes. That’s why when Pat and David go to live to India, it is so difficult for her to get used to that different way of living.
She can not quite stand up with the humid or dyer climate, she con hardly endure the smell of people and food, the only thing she wants is going back to the hotel were she feels better and is the only similar place to Long Island. Although both cultures are different, as in this case Pat did, any person can get used to the opposite one. All in all, in my opinion Desai wants us to realize of this real contradictions both cultures have, because that’s why their differences are so evident.
We are all humans, but the simply fact of living in different continents and having other origins definitely make the difference. 4) In the stories of “Games at twilight” Anita Desai uses as an important fact, the tension between convention and exploration. This tension gives the stories emotion and is a way of making them different from others. This happens because they can start in a simply way, seeming to be a normal story and suddenly they change dramatically, from de reaction of a character or an unexpected situation.
The “tension” in a way represents the possibility of the explosion or not, depending on this “change” we talk about. In “surface textures” the convention is the normal family composed by a man who has his common work, a woman who is a housewife and two kids. The problem starts when Harish begins to care more about the softness of each surface than in his family or his work. Here is when the tension begins; his wife starts to get desperate and people in work talked in between them about him. The situation continues going deeper and finally he is fired from work and ends up losing his family.
In any normal story the reaction of the character would be one, trying to repair his error but in this case it is produced a clear exploration. Harish starts to live another life, a life in which he explores different textures living in the street, walking over the surface of the roads and fields and living his own reality, so spiritual that ends turning into a Swami. Another story which has an unexpected final or resolution is “Pineapple cake”. Mrs. Fernandez is Victor’s mother and as a common woman of low-class wants to use the chance of being invited to a high-class wedding and give a good impression.
All seems to be normal but when the tall man has the accident her reaction is not normal at all. Immediately she tells Victor to eat the pineapple cake, but he had been normally shocked by the man’s accident. She wants nothing to ruin her perfect and wished night so she eats her son’s cake to finish the night as she had planned. As a conclusion with these to examples we could notice the way in which Anita Desai applies the tension between convention and exploration, she makes her stories unique and original always giving the reader the possibility of asking himself…?
What will happen this time? Project work literature “Games at twilight” by Anita Desai 1) How does Desai evolve the color of urban life in India through her stories? (chart) 2) Desai’s stories are people with entirely individual characters. How far is this so? (paragraphs) 3) “The meeting of eastern and western culture”. How does Desai achieve this? (essay) 4) One of the stories themes could be the tension between convention and exploration. How does Desai achieve this? (essay) Mora Grassi Ph1