The Bat Poet is a lively and imaginative children’s story. Jarrell uses poetry and criticism to make the story a tool, in which a young person interested in poetry can use. By giving the characters anthropomorphic qualities and themes, Jarrell gives meaning to his story. The Bat Poet gives the depth and reality of the central characters. The Bat Poet is about valuing one’s individuality.
The story opens on a porch in a place where animals can talk, and humans are virtually non-existent. The bat is a character that is very unchanging. He questions why all the bats want to go to the barn. He does not want to go to the barn and would like to stay on the porch. The bat learns to trounce the desire to be like everyone else. He comes to comprehend that being different can really be fun and interesting.
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Jarrell’s main character is the bat poet who is relentlessly at odds with his comrade bats and the other animals. When he learns to trust his own instincts, about poems, rather than follow the example of the other bats. He takes a critical step in discovering who he really is but loses what he was. The bat realizes that being away from the other bats is rewarding in some ways, but not in other ways.
The other characters include the chipmunk, which always tells the bat what he wants to hear. He is the positive reinforcer to the bat. He creates in-depth security for the bat to confide in. He helps the bat become independent. He also brings the bat to realize that he should tell the other bats his poem.
The mockingbird was another character. He used constructive criticism to help the bat become a poet. He helped the bat with structure and conformity of the poems. The mocking bird was more of a symbol than a character. Much like his name implied he mocked other creatures.
The exact opposite of what the bat was doing. The bat try’s to find greatness in others. The bat questions in a poem he writes why the mockingbird try’s to get rid of other creatures. At first, the mockingbird is mad, then he realizes that the bat was just trying to understand the mockingbird.
The bat begins writing poetry to help with his emotions of being away from the other bats. He starts waking up in the day instead of the night. He is confused about himself and the fellow creatures. So to confide in his problems he writes poetry. He does not realize he just wants to be like everyone else and being different helps him be an individual, which everyone is.
He, at the end of the story, goes back to the barn to read his poem about bats, to the bats. He starts to forget the poem and ends up just falling asleep with the other bats. He unconsciously realizes he does not have to be an individual and does not have to look for approval in the other bats but in the end, has confidence.
Fraud said ninety per cent of the human psychology is unconscious, and only ten per cent is conscious. The changes the bat, the chipmunk, the mockingbird see are on the conscious level. Much of what the young reader would see. The unconscious level is what the adult reader would see.
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