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Eeyore

An Essay By Trevor Stone

May 1996, Sophomore Year, New Vista High School

Eeyore is one of the most obvious reflections on human society in the works of A. A. Milne. We are surrounded by Eeyores every day, especially here in the United States. Commentary in our society has conformed to Eeyoreism. We are constantly pointing out all of the bad points of the government in a very Eeyore like fashion. "Why vote?" we say, "They're all just corrupt bastards out for corporate interests, my vote can't change Washington."

Eeyore takes a similar position on life. It doesn't matter if I build a house, because it will just get knocked down again." While he doesn't use these exact words, they are similar to what he said and thought.

Eeyore takes on a very pessimistic view of the world, one that is often accepted by people. They complain that their life sucks, but they don't do anything to make it better. Eeyore complains that he's wet and cold, but he doesn't go into anywhere where it is warm and dry.

From a therapeutic point of view, Eeyore chooses to get attention by complaining and negativism rather than by good deeds and optimism. Some would say that Eeyore has a right to be depressed; his tail keeps getting lost, his house gets knocked down, he doesn't get much for his birthday, etc. However, if he were to enjoy what he had and take a better view of life, he would not need to be depressed by his house being knocked over because he would have put more positive effort into it in the first place.

Benjamin Hoff, in his book The Te of Piglet may have best summed it up when he said "There is something in each of us that wants to be Unhappy. It creates in our imaginations problems that don't yet exist -- quite often causing them to come true." Or Douglas Adams when he said "It is, of course, perfectly natural to assume that everyone is having a far more exiting time than you. Human beings, for instance, have a phrase which describes this phenomenon: 'The other man's grass is always greater.'"

So we find that people will usually put themselves down rather than congratulate themselves. This may be because people look at people who pat themselves on the back as conceited, or it might just be human nature, but it is portrayed in Eeyore very well.


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