LIT 4334: The Golden Age of Children's Literature

Winnie the Pooh Character Analysis: Pooh

on April 18, 2013 2:59pm

The cover art of the book

In A.A Milne’s classic Winnie the Pooh, our titular character is a very interesting one to analyze, both  in regard to his role as the “protagonist” of the story and his relationship with Christopher Robin. He seems to be good friends with all of the regularly appearing residents of the Hundred Acre Wood and is very attached to Christopher Robin. 

Pooh definitely loves honey…

Pooh is arguably the most lackadaisical character of the entire novel. Unlike most protagonist of stories, Pooh is not driven by a quest nor fights against an antagonist. Instead, Pooh simply interacts with his fellow wood residents and gets into mischievous situations. Pooh’s one notable trait that compels him to complete tasks is his constant quest for honey, which he seems to adore almost as much as Christopher Robin (if not more so). This gluttonous quest for honey often causes the conflict in the stories centered on Pooh, notably including a chapter where he gets stuck in a hole leading to Robin’s underground home. This need for honey also can indirectly affect other characters, which is best seen when Pooh wishes to give Eeyore honey for his birthday but eats it all after becoming hungry. Although Pooh often complicates matters due to his seemingly unquenchable hunger for honey, he never purposely wishes to hurt his friends and even concocts solutions to fix his problems. Pooh at his core seems to be a very pure character with good intentions which can sometimes be affected by his character flaw.

A beautiful friendship

Another interesting dynamic concerning Pooh’s character is his attachment to Christopher Robin. Pooh seems to be the character that loves Christopher the most, which is paralleled by his “real-life” role as his teddy bear. In the novel, Christopher Robin is usually the one who comes to Pooh’s rescue when he gets in trouble. A very important detail to highlight is the boy’s patience with Pooh, something that never seems to be compromised. Other characters are usually quick to criticize and quip at Pooh due to his character flaws; in stark contrast, Christopher never becomes upset with Pooh and usually just refers to him lovingly as a “silly old bear.” Pooh’s love for him seems to definitely owe itself to this fact and can be paired with how Pooh looks up to Robin as both a guardian and a friend. This dynamic definitely gives Pooh a compelling characterization and enhances the arc he shares with Christopher, which comes to a bittersweet close when the boy leaves for school. Pooh states “if there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever”, which I think best captures their relationship. 

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2 responses to “Winnie the Pooh Character Analysis: Pooh

  1. broatchlit says:

    I always found it difficult to consider Pooh the protagonist despite the fact that he is the titular character. Each short story elaborates on how flawed and prone to trouble the teddy bear is and although he makes attempts to be the “hero” of his stories, he usually is the one in need of being rescued. He can be very selfish and gluttonous when it comes to sharing his honey and often loses focus of his friends when honey is involved. Moreover, Pooh’s obsession with honey has gotten the bear in dangerous situations more than once and his friends are usually involved in either rescuing Pooh or getting stuck in the same predicament for merely trying to help him. Christopher Robin on the other hand, seems like more of the protagonist of the novels as he is usually the one being called over for advice, help, and looked up to by most of the residents of Hundred Acre Wood. In my opinion, the only reason Pooh is so important is because of Christopher Robin’s preference of him over the other animals.

    On the other hand, your analysis on Pooh allows me to view the troublesome bear from a different perspective and I believe you are absolutely right. It would be unfair to put all the blame on Pooh as he cannot help his hunger and only asks his friends to help because he trusts them. In addition, Pooh at least tries to fix the problems he has caused and even plays the hero when his friends are in need of his assistance. An interesting thing to note about the residents of Hundred Acre Wood is the fact that they are all willing to help one another no matter how ridiculous the situation. My only problem with Pooh being the protagonist is the fact that he is just like the other animals. He, like the others, is a flawed character that could bring forth trouble for his friends and when there is trouble he, along with every other resident of Hundred Acre Wood, joins forces to find the solution to the problem. In other words, he plays a role similar to the secondary characters like Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, etc.

  2. Pooh is my favorite character in the book due to his personality. He is super naive and Always wondering about the world. I like that you mention that he Always get in mischievous situations with his friends but he always try to find a way to solve the problem at any circumstance. His relationship with Christopher is really close because they understand each other and I like that you mention that honey is what connect them but we all know that everything connect both of them. Christopher is always there for Pooh in every trouble situation and this make their relationship even closer because friends are always there no matter what is happening. According to some research used to be a little sick kid and he will always come to Pooh to feel better and satisfied. I think is ridiculous how people try to make the story not rational. I think this book was created in order for children to realize how any kind of living thing can have feelings. Pooh is thoughtful who is always willing to help his friends and I think that is main idea of the book for children to observe and acquire during their period of their lives to be like Pooh.

    Broatchilt I disagree with you because I think the book is just trying to show how a kids minds work even in silly situation but is willing to help his friends out and still show them affection.Pooh is a naive character that does not have a sense of the world yet.

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