Virtual period: June 12-19

It was still too hot to play outdoors. They had had their tea, they had been washed and had their hair brushed, and after the long day of confinement in the house that was not cool but at least a protection from the sun, the children strained to get out. Their faces were red and bloated with the effort, but their mother would not open the door, everything was still curtained and shuttered in a way that stifled the children, made them feel that their lungs were stuffed with cotton wool and their noses with dust and if they didn’t burst out into the light and see the sun and feel the air, they would choke.

“Please, ma, please,” they begged. “We’ll play in the veranda and porch—we won’t go a step out of the porch.”

“You will, I know you will, and then——”

“No—we won’t, we won’t,” they wailed so horrendously that she actually let down the bolt of the front door so that they burst out like seeds from a crackling, overripe pod into the veranda, with such wild, maniacal yells that she retreated to her bath and the shower of talcum powder and the fresh sari that were to help her face the summer evening.

They faced the afternoon. It was too hot. Too bright. The white walls of the veranda glared stridently in the sun. The bougainvillea hung about it, purple and magenta, in livid balloons. The garden outside was like a tray made of beaten brass, flattened out on the red gravel and the stony soil in all shades of metal—aluminum, tin, copper, and brass. No life stirred at this arid time of day—the birds still drooped, like dead fruit, in the papery tents of the trees; some squirrels lay limp on the wet earth under the garden tap. The outdoor dog lay stretched as if dead on the veranda mat, his paws and ears and tail all reaching out like dying travelers in search of water. He rolled his eyes at the children—two white marbles rolling in the purple sockets, begging for sympathy—and attempted to lift his tail in a wag but could not. It only twitched and lay still.

Then, perhaps roused by the shrieks of the children, a band of parrots suddenly fell out of the eucalyptus tree, tumbled frantically in the still, sizzling air, then sorted themselves out into battle formation and streaked away across the white sky.

Read the first part of the short story: Games at Twilight

Answer the questions and take your notes to class.

1. Focus on the word “twilight”. What does it symbolize in Literature?

2. What is the weather like?

3. Find phrases/words in the first paragraph in connection with “entrapment”.

4. Go on reading. How do the kids feel when they are finally allowed to play outside?

5. Pay attention to the rest of the extract, focus on the veranda and the animals. Find word/phrases in connection to death.


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10 Responses to Virtual period: June 12-19

  1. Juan Landolfo says:

    Postcolonialim literature is a body of literary writing that responds to the intellectual discourse of European colonist, that control and have total influence in all aspects, over their colonies. This colonies and its habitants suffer a mix of cultures and loose of identity, because the main culture of the country is altered by the culture of the european country that took control of the place. This is one of the reasons why postcolonial literature main themes, are related to hatred, rasicsm, xenophobia, identity, etc.

  2. Valentina Liotti says:

    Post-colonialism is an intellectual direction (sometimes also called an “era” or the “post-colonial theory”) that exists since around the middle of the 20th century. It developed from and mainly refers to the time after colonialism. The post-colonial direction was created as colonial countries became independent. Nowadays, aspects of post-colonialism can be found not only in sciences concerning history, literature and politics, but also in approach to culture and identity of both the countries that were colonised and the former colonial powers. However, post-colonialism can take the colonial time as well as the time after colonialism into consideration.

  3. diego goldaracena says:

    A postcolonial society, shows a mix of cultures and some changes in identity as people should get used to cultures that are not of their origins. This factors can clearly be seen in India, as it is a postcolonial society.

  4. Matias Grande says:

    1) The word “twilight” respresents that moment of the day in which the daylight is nearly over but it is not night.
    2) It was terribly hot, children could not play outdoors because of the high temperature. They stayed at the house just to protect themselves from the sun.
    3) “too hot to play outdoors” / “after the long day of confinement in the house” / “their mother would not open the door” /”everything was still curtained and shuttered” / “if they didn’t burst out into the light and see the sun and feel the air, they would choke.”
    4) That moment in the text is described as a moment of pleasure and freedom. It was in fact a moment of freedom because the children have been in the house like thieves in prison.
    5) ” dying travelers” / “No life stirred at this arid time of day” / “the birds still drooped, like dead fruit” / “The outdoor dog lay stretched as if dead on the veranda mat”

  5. Felipe Reynal says:

    The topic of postcolonialism is present in many works of literature, as short stories or poems. on them, the characters are often in the middle of both cultures, which creates an idea of a 3rd space. This is created by the combination of both cultures.
    In the Indian case, They have been a british colony for many years and although their beliefs, habits, religion and economy are not entirely altered, the influence of the colonizer made the citizens experience this 3rd space. A clear example is that, after india was declared Independent, English is still the unifiing language along the country.

  6. Clara Burgio says:

    Postcolonial literature came after colonization and is often characterized by its oppositional nature. Works of literature that are defined as postcolonial often record racism or a history of genocide. They emphasize the changes in culture that the colonizating countries imposed by force and how they repercuted in society.

  7. Lucas posse says:

    Postcolonial India introduced a new way of writing literature in which they could portray their roots and cultures,and no their colonizers.
    Anita Desai was able of conveying her beliefs and opinions about Indian life and show what their identities are. Indian society was freed to return to it’s roots thanks to the liberation from the British empire.

  8. Abru lopez says:

    In many works of literature, specifically those of Africa and the Indian Subcontinent, we meet characters who are struggling with their identities in the wake of colonization.

    India as a postcolonial society defies the over simplification of settler/invaded postcolonial experience. colonialism in India began not with British rule, but with the Islamic invasion in 10th century and continued through Delhi sultanate to Mughal empire. When Britishers colonized India, they were colonizing an already colonized land, and some sections of Indians were celebrating freedom from Mughal rule

    • Bruce Donald says:

      1. Period or condition of decline following growth, glory, or success: in the twilight of his life.
      2. It is summertime, and the weather outside is so hot that everyone has crowded indoors to try to escape the heat; however, the kids get antsy and restless indoors. They want to go outside and play, and are feeling cooped up and fidgety.

  9. abru lopez says:

    1. Twilight conveys that it is not night yet, but the day is almost over.

    2. It was so terribly hot that even the birds would not fly. They couldn’t go out because of the terribly sun that was shining. It was very arid.

    3. play outdoors/confinement/strained to get out/their mother would not open the door/everything was curtained and shuttered/

    4. The text describe the moment when they finally go outside like a moment of glory, like a prisioner had gone out of prison. “hey burst out like seeds from a crackling, overripe pod into the veranda, with such wild, maniacal yells”

    5. “No life stirred” “he birds still drooped, like dead fruit” “he outdoor dog lay stretched as if dead on the veranda mat” “lay still.”

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