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Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Sept. 24, 2018

There are days when I am surrounded by plush toys and I look back on days of yesterday that I start to feel like Christopher Robin. Then there are days when I work in a classroom of extraordinary students that bring a different type of energy to the environment that I know for certain that I have entered the Hundred Acre Wood.

Sarah Shea examined a different neurosis for each character in her NIH article, “Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood: a neurodevelopmental perspective on A.A. Milne”. It is comical at times when stating that the bear is fixated on honey and acts on impulse while the young boy is the most neurotypical of the whole group, yet he spends his days with imaginary friends and talks to stuffed animals.

However, it rings true that several of the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood demonstrate pretty interesting personality types. Pooh has an uncontrollable addiction to honey; Rabbit likes everything orderly—too orderly; Eeyore is always sad; Piglet has a nervous energy; and Tigger has way too much energy. It goes to show that when all these characters are placed in the same environment, A. A. Milne shows a glimpse into a child's fantasy land while opening up a safe space environment for grown-ups.

The demarcation line between childhood and adulthood could be the moment when the Hundred Acre Wood stopped being a playground for friends and became a society where labels were given for disorders we never knew existed as children.

“Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood: a neurodevelopmental perspective on A.A. Milne”. Sarah E. Shea. 2010.

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JaymonRising at 12:12AM, Sept. 26, 2018

When you're young you look for imagination while when you're older you either look for subtext or allegory, and even if you also look for imagination it still has to be inspired or groundbreaking rather than just wonderful or at least interesting. Otherwise I'd make do if they named those two comic strip characters after people other than philosophers I care nothing about.

Banes at 8:01AM, Sept. 24, 2018

Excellent article!

PaulEberhardt at 6:29AM, Sept. 24, 2018

@kawaiidaigakusei: "Then there are days when I work in a classroom of extraordinary students that bring a different type of energy to the environment" - I think I know exactly what you mean. These are the days that remind me what a rewarding job teaching can be at times - even if no one else would believe it.

PaulEberhardt at 6:22AM, Sept. 24, 2018

Awesome article. I believe the thing is that many children's writers just write about what they THINK children are like or should be like, while their memories of their childhoods get dimmer and dimmer like everyone else's. Same goes for educationalists etc.. And when someone like A.A. Milne manages the awesome feat of staying a bit closer to the actual 100 Acres Wood's edge, people like our esteemed Ms Shea are shocked to find it beyond their grasp, so they retreat to the safety of their home terrain of psychoanalysis where everything is possible as long as you know the correct technical (=magic) terms (=spells). One playground in exchange for another, just a bit better hidden from society's supervision, perhaps, because Winnie Pooh is a good deal more readable. And I can just shake my head and think: "Analyse this, Doc!" ;D

Ozoneocean at 5:00AM, Sept. 24, 2018

Don't get too obsessed with Pooh or Freud will diagnose you as an anal retentive XD

Fantasticbrick at 3:23AM, Sept. 24, 2018

Good article. Growing up and putting a label on things to rationalize the world seems like a breaking on innocence.

bravo1102 at 2:36AM, Sept. 24, 2018

I prefer the Tao of Pooh. Pooh just is and his addiction to honey spotlights our addiction to the world. Rabbit is the epitome of Confucian order. The contrast is very important.

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