The Eight TypesThe Winnieagram is based upon a set of eight distinct personality (or, ‘Poohsonality’) types, which derive their names from the characters that represent them in the books.
Pooh types are sociable, down-to-earth and caring. Like Winnie the Pooh, they allow their feelings to guide their actions. This sometimes has disastrous consequences (as, for example, when Pooh decided that Eeyore needed a house to protect him from the snow). They tend to be materialistic with an overdeveloped sensitivity to their own physical well-being (a trait well illustrated by Pooh’s constant awareness of the state of his stomach).
Piglet types are quiet, reliable and faithful. They tend to be followers rather than leaders. However, they are capable of great acts of courage and self-sacrifice (it was Piglet who went for Christopher Robin when a flood threatened the Hundred Acre Wood; and it was Piglet who gave up his own home when Owl’s was blown down). They are also people of deep faith – as witness: ‘If Christopher Robin’s coming’, said Piglet, ‘I don’t mind anything.’ and ‘It’s Christopher Robin,’ said Piglet. ‘He’ll know what to do.’ (In both citations, Christopher Robin is clearly symbolic of the divine.)
Theirs is a future-oriented spirituality as revealed by the following dialogue:
‘When you wake up in the morning, Pooh, what’s the first thing you say to yourself?’
‘What’s for breakfast?’, said Pooh. ‘What do you say, Piglet?’
‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet.
Tigger types are the archetypal creative personalities. This is illustrated in the Pooh corpus by Tigger’s experimental approach to language in such phrases as ‘Worraworraworraworraworra!’ They tend to be bouncy and manic-depressive, characteristics that combine with their native creativity to make them appear larger than life. Or, as Pooh puts it
Whatever his weight
in pounds, shillings, and ounces.
He always seems bigger
because of his bounces.
Rabbits are unusually complex. They are very conscious of their connectedness to others (they tend to think in terms of friends and relations) and yet are also aware of their own uniqueness. They are more intellectual than most (in the Hundred Acre Wood only Owl and Rabbit can read) but combine this with much common sense. This combination marks them out as natural leaders, able to see clearly what needs to be done and how to achieve that goal and able also to direct others to that end. As you would expect, it was Rabbit who took the lead in the unbouncing of Tigger.
Kanga is the only explicitly female character in the Hundred Acre Wood (the author hopes, in a future paper, to explore fully the implications of this fact for an Ursinian perspective on sexuality). She thus represents the essentially maternal type of person. Kanga types tend to be enthusiasts for rules and regulations. They can also be fiercely protective of those in their care. At times this combination can make them seem rather authoritarian. Many Kanga types find their way into the caring professions (particularly social work and the priesthood).
For every Kanga there must be a Roo. Roo types are the necessary complement for Kanga types – they are the type Kanga exists to serve. The Roo type tends to be childlike, dependent on others and irresponsible. He or she exists entirely for present experience.
Owls are the most intellectual of the types. They are somewhat aloof and, in their conversation, may fly over the heads of others.
Eeyore represents the need of every human being for solitude and quiet reflection. However, taken to extremes he becomes the archetypal recluse and misanthrope. Eeyore types tend to be cynical and pessimistic. They often have intellectual pretensions but this is merely a thin veneer over a deep anti-intellectualism. For example, Eeyore’s response to his discovery that Rabbit could read was as follows:
‘Clever’, said Eeyore scornfully, putting a foot heavily on his three sticks. ‘Education!’ said Eeyore bitterly, jumping on his six sticks. ‘What is learning?’ asked Eeyore as he kicked his twelve sticks in the air. ‘A thing Rabbit knows! Ha!’