What are the characteristics of bats as they are portrayed in the short story "My Life as a Bat"?  

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liesljohnson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Throughout the story, the narrator reveals many characteristics of bats, showing their physical features, their habits and behavior, and the way she imagines their personalities or souls.

In Section 1 of the story, we're told that bats are merciless killers, but they don't hate their prey. They also don't pity or gloat.

Section 2 reveals that bats dislike encounters with humans, and that they enjoy finding a cool, quiet place to rest, away from the harsh glare of the sun.

We find out in Section 3 that bats hate getting tangled up in things, and that they are definitely not the awkward, evil-looking creatures that vampire films portray them as.

In Section 5, we see that bats have soft, round bodies; that their teeth are sharp, their eyes are shiny, and their wings are slippery; that a bat’s nose looks like “a dead leaf” or “a radiator grill;” and that mother bats lick their babies tenderly.

Putting this all together, bats are characterized in the story as beautiful, graceful, efficient, and appreciative of comfort and quiet.