The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh Innocence and Youth
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Innocence and Youth
Winnie-the-Pooh has its own interpretation of what youth is all about. For the most part, Milne attributes a whole lot of purity, innocence, and sentimentality to his son's childhood. In Winnie-the-Pooh, children are free to roam, free from worry, free from responsibility. Granted, it's a pretty idealistic picture of childhood. There are plenty of other books that show youth as a difficult period in life, but the Pooh books make us focus on the positive. Milne gets some things very right, too, and within his halcyon view of youth, he also shows a deep understanding for how children learn, and great respect for each stage of development.
Questions About Innocence and Youth
- Do you think Milne's portrayal of childhood is an accurate one?
- Who is the "youngest" of the animals in the book? The "oldest?" How can you tell?
- A lot of adults wish they could be like children again. Modernist art (i.e. Picasso, Cezanne) was based on the idea of returning to a childlike freedom with perspective and materials. Using Milne's Forest as a starting ground, what is it about youth that adults are trying to access emotionally? Intellectually?
Chew on This
Christopher Robin's leadership and independent actions show us
that kids are just little adults. They think and feel the same way, but know
Childhood isn't all fun and games. Remember teasing? Crying over the wrong-flavored popsicle? Not having any control over where you go and what you do? Being a kid STNKS.
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