Tristram Shandy | Study Guide

Laurence Sterne

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Tristram Shandy, Vol. 1, Chapter 22 n a word, my work is digressive, and it is progressive too,—and at the same time. Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Guardian, University of Glasgow Copyright © 2017 Course Hero, Inc. Hobby-Horses Symbolize the passions and obsessions that give life its zest Nose Depending on its size, stands for the manliness of a man Uncle Toby’s Fort Represents the epitome of a harmless hobby Symbols Tristram’s father; an armchair philosopher preoccupied with his son’s prospects in life Walter Shandy Formerly a soldier in Uncle Toby’s command; now his valet and faithful sidekick Corporal Trim Army veteran and Tristram’s uncle; obsessed with military architecture Toby Shandy The narrator; an anguished country gentleman setting out to write his autobiography Tristram Shandy Main Characters An Anglican clergyman by profession, Sterne discovered his true calling late in life: writing satirical fiction to puzzle, scandalize, and delight the English literary world. His other major work, A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy (1768), is a prequel of sorts to Tristram Shandy. LAURENCE STERNE1713–68 Author It’s best, Shandy argues, to let others pursue their “hobby-horses” in peace. Live & Let Live At the same time, he admires those who follow their passions, no matter how odd. No Accounting for Taste Shandy mocks the self-importance of doctors, lawyers, and other “grave” men. Why So Serious? Tristram Shandy sets out to tell his life story but finds himself irresistibly drawn into one tangent after another. As anecdotes multiply, the novel sprawls into a wide-ranging satire on 18th-century English fashions, manners, and morals. A Novel of Endless Digressions MAIN IDEAS English Original Language 1759–67 Years Published Laurence Sterne Author Tristram Shandy Comedy Novel

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