Winnie the Pooh — It Is Only Natural to Make Mistakes

This essay was written for my Traditions in Children’s Literature course on November 21, 2019 and it surprisingly did not suck. So I decided to put it up here.

And by the way, Merry Christmas! 🙂

This is a book response to the original texts of Winnie-The-Pooh by Alan Alexander Miln.

After carefully reading through Winnie the Pooh again and again, I became more and more appreciative of Alan Alexander Milne’s thoughtfully crafted characters and their appealing personality. It’s a story that explores friendship, innocence, and virtue from a child’s perspective, with much consideration put into the making. However, what impressed me the most is how the author approached issues in the story, in a way a child would.

The author does not assert any notion of what the right things are to do, nor does the story put emphasis on consequences or penalties. Winnie the Pooh as well as other characters engage the story in a natural and innocent manner, where universal values are shared among all the animals and making mistakes are tolerable. For instance, in the part where Christopher Robin and his friends set out to find the North Pole, the animals never actually figured out what a north pole, provisions, or expeditions are (the animals even misspelled the word expedition). They came up with their own interpretation of the said things and were content with their own explanation. Just like how some[1] children react when encountering things completely new to them: they, with limited resources or knowledge, try to come up with an explanation that makes sense to them. And, instead of proving the animals wrong by telling the readers what those words actually mean, the story chose not to answer those questions, perhaps in hope of encouraging young readers to find out themselves!

The story finds a comfortable balance between slightly inappropriate but mostly harmless acts and good examples of virtue. Imperfections exist in the characters, and they are what made these characters relatable to kids. In my opinion, the author successfully created a story full of loveable characters and inspiring plots that is now enjoyed by countless readers.

 


[1] Professor Klassen pointed out that adding “some” in the context could be better.

Merry Christmas my dudes 🙂

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