British Imperialism: Anita Desai’s “Games at Twilight” – Allegory & Cultural Diaspora
This lesson is part of my 12th grade unit on British Imperialism. If you are interested in purchasing the entire unit as one bundle, it is available here.
I use this lesson as part of my multi-lesson Imperialism Unit which is aimed at studying the literature of the era to uncover the perceptions and emotions of individuals caught on both sides of Imperialism. The concept of Imperialism involves the major work of nations (war, exploitation, servitude, enslavement), yet the literature exposes the conflicts, emotions, and true human nature of those people who lived within the social and political systems. I want my students to understand that there are people, relationships, conditions, choices, and motivations in every era of history; it is easy to judge historical events and figures from our contemporary standpoint, but it is important to remember that everybody has a back-story. These stories reveal that the relationships within the Imperialistic social structure were not always what they seemed.
This lesson includes:
Short PPT that includes a link to a background video on Imperialism and the culminating writing prompt.
Full text of Desai’s “Games at Twilight” and accompanying graphic organizer that introduces key concepts and directs students to identify and explain the story as an allegory (literal and figurative levels). These are suitable for homework or classwork, individual or group. This was an easy story to read, but provides a great deal of opportunity for critical thinking when presented as an allegory.
A culminating critical thinking writing prompt requiring students to identify and explain allegory.
Depending on your pacing, and if you assign portions of this work as homework, there are @ 1.5 classes of viewing, reading, interacting, discussion, and writing.
Key words: British Literature, 12th Grade, Desai, Allegory, CCSS aligned, Imperialism, short story