English Discussion Response 1



The author of this work, Karen Russell, may be implying that a type of new world, or new human evolution may be starting. The narrator mentions that her sister believes the bat girls are only vessels, and that there may be more women outside of New Florida with these same traits. This could lead the reader to believe that these bat girls are the start of a new human evolution so that people can continue to survive after the old world has changed. The narrator also mentions the sentiment of something wants to be born when determining that the end of the old engineers life does not mean the end of everything else. Russell may be symbolizing that although the previous world has died, or changed forever, the people of this new world will continue to adapt and survive.

2. The only pity that I feel for him is in reference to his family dying. However, this man was adamant about his involvement of causing the old world to end and leaving this water-logged new world for the next generations. I believe that Russell is trying to convince the reader that this fate can happen in our world if we do not change our ways. It is our responsibility to prevent, or at least slow, the rising water levels so future generations are not affected.

3. It was hard for me discern if the end of the story was the death of the sisters or a symbolization of them drifting off into a new area or world. I did look into the definition of keening since it was mentioned numerous times in the last few paragraphs; the act of wailing in grief for a dead person (according to the Oxford Languages). This term, used in this context, could describe the demise of Blister and Vi since they are the ones hearing this sound. However, it could also be more of a metaphorical dead person if the sisters are entering a new world and their previous lives are ending.

4. I think the obvious question would be whether the sisters die at the end of this story. However, another, less obvious, one would be if the other two sisters continue on their family business as bat girls if Blister and Vi did die or go missing.