Underlying Meanings within Children Stories People enjoy a good story. More importantly, children enjoy their fairytales. However, many of these stories have more morbid underlying meanings. Everyone should know, or at least be vaguely familiar with, the cute story of Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Woods. What people may not know, or may not have figured out, is that this particular story’s dark messages are mental disorders. Each character in Winnie the Pooh, according The Perfectionist, author of a biomedical blog, has a different mental disorder.
Are these disorders going to affect the way kids view others and themselves? The initial story line of Disney’s 2011 “Winnie the Pooh” is innocent enough. The movie starts off with the introduction of a young boy named Christopher Robin who has, as the narrator says, “a very active imagination. ” However, Christopher Robin may have more than just that. He displays the common characteristics of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a condition in which one has trouble defining the line with perception of reality.
Common symptoms, according to the medical dictionary, are delusions, hallucinations, and hearing voices based on the person’s behavior. All of Christopher Robin’s “friends” are depictions of his stuffed animals coming to life. He talks and interacts with them and each character responds back appropriately. We are next introduced to Pooh. This is Christopher Robins’ “best friend. ” Winnie the Pooh is a bear who is so obsessed with food, in particular honey, that he can be classified with an eating disorder.
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His consistent desire for honey interrupts his daily activities by not allowing him to think of other things besides filling his tummy. He thinks about it in his dreams, during the day, and even while he is attempting to complete another task. He makes eating his biggest priority. The first example of this in the movie is the very first glimpse we see into the Hundred Acre Woods. Pooh is talking in his sleep about honey, suggesting that that is what he is dreaming about. He then is woken up and the first thing he sets out to do is get honey.
This priority is evident throughout the entire movie while he is trying to get honey from his friends or get some honey wherever he possibly can, with little to no regard to how he obtains it will affect his friends. While Pooh is searching for honey, for he had run out, he hears the grumbling sigh of his friend, Eyore. Eyore can easily be classified as clinically depressed. Depression is displayed by always feeling gloomy or sad. The first time Pooh and Eyore come together, this constant gloominess is apparent. Pooh greets him with a “Good morning. Lovely day, isn’t it? and Eyore promptly responds with “Wish I could say yes” in his typical bummed out manner. Eyore becomes more hopeless when he discovers his missing tail. This is the “very important thing” that everyone is the Hundred Acre Woods must do, they must help Eyore find his tail, or a tail. It is at this point Owl flies in. Owl is characterized as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Narcissistic Personality disorder is an obsession with oneself. There is an exaggeration in the importance of the self and the belief that they are exponentially unique and need constant approval and admiration of others.
Owl enters the scene interrupting Pooh and Eyore with the need to bring the attention of his friends to him. He perches himself in a tree and announces that this is the tree where he was hatched and all about the marks his mother made on the tree. He begins to write his book. He titles chapter one “The birth of a Genius. ” Pooh interrupts this “important work” by asking him to help find Eyore’s tail and feeds Owl’s Narcissism by saying he “has such a talent for speaking and telling [them] what to do. ” Of course, Owl quickly recognizes his own importance in this and takes the lead to finding Eyore’s tail.
Pooh is nailing up signs announcing that there is “a very important thing to do” when Tigger pounces in at a red balloon that is floating around nearby. The Perfectionist diagnoses Tigger with having ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). ADHD cause a person to have trouble paying attention and be constantly over-active. Tigger goes from fighting with the balloon, to playing, to being afraid of it, and to being worried something will happen to it if it is his “sidekick,” all within the p of about 1 minute. Also, from the moment he enters the scene to the very end, he does ot stop moving or talking. Pooh goes to Christopher Robin’s house in search of some honey to share but finds a note. He cannot read the note so he takes the note to Owl to be deciphered. Owl is, of course, more than happy to be the one selected to decode the meaning of this note. However, he misinterprets the note. He thinks that “back soon” is a monster called the “Backsoon” and that Christopher Robin has been captured by this creature. This sets off Piglet’s Panphobia. Panphobia is a disorder that makes a person overly fearful.
They are afraid of basically everything but especially the unknown. The fact that this monster is lurking around gives Piglet the shakes. While setting up the trap for the Backsoon to capture him and get Christopher Robin back, it becomes apparent that Rabbit also suffers a mental disorder; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is a disorder that causes obsessive thought about a ritual that must be performed or to adhere to rules with strict acuteness. If these things are not completed then it causes the person extreme anxiety.
When setting everything up for the trap, Rabbit made sure everything was just so and that nobody interfered with what has been done. Christopher Robin came back, much to their surprise, and explained that he had gone out and that he would be back soon. After that was settled, Pooh went back to Owl’s house to see if he would have some honey but when he saw the bell rope was actually Eyore’s tail and Owl had taken it by mistake Pooh rushed the tail to Eyore and won a prize pot of honey for finding his tail. There is obviously a lesson here about putting your friends first when Pooh denies honey to return the tail to Eyore.
However, when children are watching this and they see characters with symptoms of these disorders, does it make them more tolerable when they are around friends at school with these same issues? Winnie the Pooh is not the only children’s story with madness as a twist; for example, the original “Grim Brothers Fairytales” and “Alice in Wonderland. ” It could serve as an exposure for children to be more accepting differences among the people around them. As it is put in Alice in Wonderland, “we are all mad here. ”
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