Study Guide

Tigger in The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh

By A. A. Milne

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The Wonderful Thing About Tigger...

Tigger is one of the most-beloved characters in the Pooh tales. He even has his own movie. Future spin-offs aside, Tigger plays an important role in the episodes because he challenges how we typically define a character by his actions. He's introduced by the scary sound he makes, "Worraworraworraworraworra," (House.2.8), showing that his primary characteristics are things he can't necessarily control. What he looks like—bouncy, big, growly—turns out not to really reflect his essential personality. He never intentionally does anything bad, but his size and boundless energy have a way of getting him and other characters into trouble.

  • We learn Pooh's first impression of Tigger in a poem: "But whatever his weight in pounds, / shillings, ounces, / He always seems bigger / because of his bounces." (House.2.114).  Piglet reasons, "'he just is bouncy,' said Piglet, 'and he can't help it.'" (House.6.107).
  •  Piglet reasons, "'he just is bouncy,' said Piglet, 'and he can't help it.'" (House.6.107).
  • Rabbitdescribes him: "'There's too much of him,' said Rabbit, 'that's what itcomes down to'" (House.7.21).

These physical attributes are so important because Tigger is just starting to learn about himself. When we first meet him, he doesn't even know what he likes to eat. He's missing one of the most fundamental and instinctual parts of how we identify ourselves—our methods of survival. And later in the book, he's still not totally sure of his own abilities. As he and Roo wander through the woods, he answers Roo's question about flight: "'Yes,' said Tigger, 'they're very good flyers, Tiggers are. Strornry good flyers'" (House.4.40).

In the end, though, Tigger gets to act the hero, too, as he finds a lost Rabbit.

And the Small and Sorry Rabbit rushed through the mist at the noise, and it suddenly turned into Tigger; a Friendly Tigger, a Grand Tigger, a Large and Helpful Tigger, a Tigger who bounced, if he bounced at all, in just the beautiful way a Tigger ought to bounce. (House.7.130)

In spite of the trouble he gets into, there's something to be said for how much everybody seems to love Tigger. He makes us think about how everybody is "all right really" (House.6.120).

Tigger in The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh Study Group

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