First, take a read of these Character Descriptions of all the primary (and some lesser known) characters in the Winnie-the-Pooh series. The link will open in a new tab or window, depending upon your browser.
Now, re-read my post on A.A. Milne’s poem “Disobedience.”
Okay, we’ve all grown up thinking Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin were the most amazing children’s stories. Having researched A.A. Milne, I’m seeing something a bit more sinister. It’s not a terribly far reach to see this in these characters.
Remember, these are all Christopher Robin’s “friends.” We know that Christopher Robin is a good boy, who never does anything wrong, who is always right, who is kind, generous, loving, obedient, etc. Christopher Robin is practically perfect in every way. His friends, however, seem to be lacking a bit…
1. Winnie-the-Pooh: He’s known to live under the name ” Mr. Sanders.” Milne goes on to state that this means he lives beneath the name Sanders which is inscribed in gold over the door to his home. First, Milne intimates that Pooh’s name is really Mr. Sanders, and then he invalidates this with humor that is actually devaluing and cruel by stating he’s not really Mr. Sanders, he simply lives in a house with that name over the door. What, did Pooh steal the home? Is he a squatter? Why didn’t he paint over the name Sanders if his name is REALLY “Pooh?” Why does Milne allow him to seem to be a bumbling idiot, when he’s so very obviously not? Why did Milne state his REAL name and then immediately take it away from him, replacing it with the ludicrous “Pooh?” Milne’s characterization of a loving, gentle, easily frightened bear who loves the simple things in life is “bumbling idiot.” Can you extrapolate?
2. Piglet: He’s a small, timid pig who used to live at Trespassers Will, 100 Aker Wood, S.W. in a Beech Tree. He tells people Trespasser’s Will refers to his grandfather, who he calls Trespassers W, which really stands for Trespassers William. Milne goes on to inform us through description of the sign before it broke, that Piglet is lying about having a grandfather named Trespassers William. Milne tells us Trespassers Will, before it broke, stood for Trespassers will be Prosecuted or Trespassers will be invited to dinner. My guess is prosecution. Piglet is also the nervous sort. Gee, I wonder why? His entire existence is based upon a whopping lie. Maybe he’s afraid he’ll be found out. He’s always sidling up to Pooh, seeking comfort and reassurance, and he daily wonders what will be exciting that day. Liar, nervous, needs constant reassurance, twitches and wonders about daily excitement. There you have some classic Borderline Personality Disorder traits.
3. Eeyore: Oh please. Invert NPD. Say it in your best Eeyore voice: “I’m so depressed. I’m so unhappy. My birthday is coming and I bet no one notices. Oh gosh, thanks for noticing me. I’ll just put my tail back on and trudge back to my unhappy home where no one pays attention to me, no one loves me, no one cares about me.”
4. Tigger: Well gee. Do I need to interpret? Maybe. Attention seeker. He’s bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun. He hates all the things that Pooh, Piglet and Eeyore love to eat. Specifically those things. He loves to play detective, because that’s what Tiggers (Narcissists) do best! Tiggers are wonderful things! The best thing about him is that he’s “the only one!” Tiggers also never get lost and they’re great at locating “lost” friends. His friends get lost and he has to ‘rescue’ them. Then he makes them pay by annoying the shit out of them. My guess is that they wanted to be lost.
5. Rabbit: Oh this is enlightening! Pushy and decisive. The best speller of all the animals. His life is made up of Important Things. Likes to organize things and take charge of group events, even if nothing gets done. Becomes disoriented very quickly in unfamiliar surroundings. He has friends “too many to count.” Do you know anyone like this? I do.
6. Owl: He speaks eloquently, everyone thinks he’s the wisest, he tells stories to anyone who will listen and sometimes he’s a real bore. Gosh. Gee. Are bells clanging?
There are more, but these should give you a clue. A.A. Milne has projected personality traits on to stuffed animals – traits that may exemplify his own worst characteristics and since he can’t acknowledge them in himself, he projects them – in these stories – onto stuffed animals. His adult writing does the same thing. Read some of it.
Then there’s Christopher Robin, the good boy. The boy who never does anything wrong, who always reflects the positive traits a narcissist so wants to believe himself to have. Christopher Robin is the polar opposite of his friends. Christopher Robin never makes mistakes. He always does the right thing. He is known to chide his friends when they’ve been “bad.” He shoots down ideas, he walks away from “bad” ideas, and I don’t believe I’ve ever read (in the original writings) where he was ever accountable for any misadventure, even though he participated in a LOT of them.
Some of you may think I’m reaching too far, because Christopher Robin and the Pooh family may have been some of your favorite childhood characters. I’m not denigrating your favorite characters. I’m stating that the author of these stories had a few issues with which you might be well-acquainted, and those issues are clear in his character development.