Friday, September 28, 2012

The 4 Temperaments Theory, As Explained By Winnie the Pooh Characters

Most human beings tend to fall into four basic personality categories, commonly known as the 4 temperaments. These temperaments (sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, and melancholic) are inborn tendencies in people, which cause them to exhibit certain traits and adopt certain mannerisms.
Now, I could write a long post detailing the specific characteristics of the 4 temperaments. But I’m in a lazy mood, so I’ll just link to this description that explains the temperaments in very detailed language.
But that link, though informative, only provides boring, technical explanations of the 4 temperaments. 
I was feeling creative when this topic came across the radar screen, so I thought... what better way to explain the temperaments than by analyzing the temperaments of the major characters in the children's masterpiece Winnie-the-Pooh
(Depressingly, I am not the first person to make this comparison. However, I believe my assessment is more accurate.)
Christopher RobinAll temperaments
Christopher Robin is a sort of Christ figure in the Hundred Acre Wood. He consistently exhibits common sense, friendliness, kindness, and wisdom, and is never portrayed doing anything wrong. 
Thus, it is unsurprising that he embodies the best traits of all the temperaments - the friendliness of a sanguine, the decisiveness of a choleric, the level-headedness of a phlegmatic, and the reflective nature of the melancholic. 
Eeyore Melancholic
The pessimistic and perpetually sorrowful Eeyore is the epitome of the reclusive, sorrowful melancholic, always expecting the worst from others and from life.
Piglet Phlegmatic-melancholic
In the words of the Genius: “Piglet exemplifies order and decency.” (This is an actual quote.)
Piglet gets along with everyone, is peaceful, and is Pooh Bear’s rock in the storm. But he worries far more than most phlegmatics, displaying his melancholic tendency to overthink matters.
RabbitCholeric-Melancholic
Rabbit likes things done his own way, and trusts to his strong and stubborn will (sometimes, too much) above all else. He also has a melancholic perfectionist streak, as witnessed by his obsessive gardening and his at times reclusive attitude.
RooSanguine
Roo displays a laughing streak and an absurd level of happiness which only a sanguine could possibly possess.
TiggerIntense Sanguine
The energetic Tigger wreaks absolute havoc in the Hundred Acre Wood with his spontaneous antics. He is the classic sanguine: a lot of fun to be around, but little self-control and no attention span whatsoever.
Winnie-the-PoohPhlegmatic
All the other animals in the Hundred Acre Wood love Pooh Bear, precisely because he is so easygoing and pleasant to be around. Pooh is content to relax and let stronger personalities or circumstances lead him.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, I had similar thoughts, but you expanded them and improved them. I am trying to explain the 4 temperaments to high school students this Saturday. Thanks and God Bless you!

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