D. H. Lawrence Questions and Answers

D. H. Lawrence book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is the theme of D.H. Lawrence's "Bat"?

Expert Answers info

Colin Cavendish-Jones, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Lawyer

bookM.A. from Oxford University

bookPh.D. from St. Andrews University


calendarEducator since 2019

write2,273 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

One of the major themes in D.H. Lawrence's "Bat" is irrational prejudice, the fact that our dislikes, even hatreds, are visceral rather than cerebral and can only be described, not explained. Lawrence explores various types of prejudice in his animal poems, notably in what is perhaps his best-known poem, "Snake," when he throws a log at a snake, not because he particularly wants to, but because people generally dislike snakes, and he feels a gesture of hostility is required.

In this poem, the speaker really does seem to loathe bats. He describes their physical appearance in words filled with repulsion:

Creatures that hang themselves up like an old rag, to sleep;
And disgustingly upside down.
Hanging upside down like rows of disgusting old rags
And grinning in their sleep.
Bats!
The quick succession of the adverb "disgustingly" and the adjective "disgusting" emphasizes the strength of the speaker's feelings. The bats have spoiled his quiet evening amidst the beauties of Florence. However,...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 921 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,489 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial