Study Guide

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh Coming of Age

By A. A. Milne

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Coming of Age

It's not until <em>The House at Pooh Corner</em> that the coming of age theme arrives in full force. And Milne lets us know this from the very start. Of course, this is not your typical coming of age story, which usually involves girls becoming women, boys becoming men. Check out some of Shmoop's YA books for good examples. Milne shows us a very different transformation by having his Christopher Robin evolve from young child to school-aged child. We don't often think of this as a big shift, but for someone with a keen eye for the unique stages of childhood, there is a large difference between pre- and primary-school age life. Especially back in Milne's day when preschoolers weren't scheduled with all sorts of activities, when young children had plenty of time to do "nothing."

Questions About Coming of Age

  1. What does Milne demonstrate to be the big difference betweenpre-school and school-age? Why is it such a significant transformation?
  2. How does Christopher Robin's story relate to other coming of age tales, which are typically about adolescents?
  3. The whole structure of the Pooh books is episodic—there's not much for overarching narrative. Why do you think Milne attached this bigger theme to his playful children's stories?    

Chew on This

Christopher Robin is excited about growing up, even if he is a bit sentimental about leaving his childhood toys and fantasies.

You're wrong, Shmoop. Winnie-the-Pooh is NOT a coming-of-age story. 

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh Coming of Age Study Group

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