Study Guide

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh The House at Pooh Corner: Contradiction

By A. A. Milne

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The House at Pooh Corner: Contradiction

  • Milne (the author) begins his second book (The House at Pooh Corner) like the first, with a direct appeal to the readers.
  • This time, he talks about how we already know Pooh and friends, so an introduction is hardly necessary. Again, it's all very meta.
  • Instead, Milne wants to give us the opposite of an introduction, so he asks Pooh for help. Yes, Pooh has been given life even outside of the stories that Milne (the author) recounts of Milne (the narrator) telling to Christopher Robin (the listener) about Christopher Robin (the character) and his animal friends. The animals have jumped all the way to the top of the hierarchy.
  • Being a bear with very little brain, Pooh doesn't know what either of the big words in Milne's question means.
  • Luckily, Owl knows that the opposite of "introduction" is "contradiction" and Milne accepts this based on the bird's profound knowledge of long words.
  • So Milne goes on to describe why he's writing this second book. In short, the reasoning boils down to he and CR's (the listener) bedtime routine.
  • They do math problems with each other until they fall asleep (thus is born a child's belief that PEMDAS is snooze-inducing...)
  • Soon enough, Pooh, who is perched on chair beside the bed dozes off too, and he "joins them" in the "forest."
  • Milne here is telling us that the Hundred Acre Wood is literally a dream world, where all the characters have adventures together.
  • But when they wake up, usually they forget all the wonderful things that happened. Alas, Milne can only remember a few, so he's written them down here for us. They're the only ones he has left.
  • So this "contradiction" is a prelude to the good-bye. We will not get more Pooh stories.
  • But don't worry, Milne tells us, because we can always go and have adventures in "the Forest" in our own dreams.
  • And on with the show!

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