Tristram Shandy Essay Questions

Tristram Shandy Essay Questions-72
But that she must have been either a very silly, a very stupid, or an excessively callous person, appears certain.

But that she must have been either a very silly, a very stupid, or an excessively callous person, appears certain.It would seem, indeed, to require a combination of the flightiness and lack of taste which her father too often displayed, with the stolidity which (from rather unfair inference through Mrs.During the unknown, or almost unknown, middle of his life he had friends of the kind most congenial to him; and both in his time of preparation and his time of production in literature, he was able to indulge his genius in a way by no means common with men of letters.

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Perhaps it may be accounted for, reasonably enough, by supposing that of his later years he thought his daughter knew quite as much as he wished her to know, while of the middle period he had little or nothing to tell.

In fact, of the two earlier divisions we still know very little but what he has chosen to tell us in one of the most characteristic and not the least charming excursions of his pen.

But it is these unlucky letters which put him almost hopelessly out of court.

Even the slight relenting of fortune which gave him at last, in Mr.

Nor were Sterne’s misfortunes in this way over with the publication of these things; for the subsequently discovered Fourmentelle correspondence sunk him, with precise judges, a little deeper.

No doubt Tristram Shandy, the Sentimental Journey, and the curious stories or traditions about their author, were not exactly calculated to give Sterne a very high reputation with grave authorities.For my own part, I do not hesitate to say that I do not think letters of this kind ought to be published at all; and though it may seem paradoxical or foolish, I am by no means sure that, if they are published, they ought to be admitted as evidence.That which is not written for the public, is no business of the public’s; and I never read letters of this kind, published for the first time, without feeling like an eavesdropper.1 Unluckily, the evidence furnished by the letters fits in only too well with that furnished by the published works, by his favourite cronies and companions, and by his general reputation, so that “what the prisoner says” must, no doubt, “be used against him.” It may be doubted whether it was accident or his usual deliberate fantasticality that made Sterne, in the well-known summary of his life which (very late in it) he drew up for his daughter, devote almost the whole space to his childhood.Johnson, while declining to deny him ability, seems to have been too much disgusted to talk freely about him; Scott’s natural kindliness, warm admiration for my Uncle Toby, and total freedom from squeamish prudery, seem yet to have left him ill at ease and tongue-tied in discussing Sterne; Thackeray, as is well known, exceeded all measure in denouncing him; and his chief recent critical biographer, Mr.Traill, who is probably as free from cant, Britannic or other, as any man who ever wrote in English, speaks his mind in the most unsparing fashion.Whereas Tristram fictitiously titles his novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, the novel itself includes very minor detail of the protagonist’s recollected life and instead he draws more focus upon the events involving the supporting characters of the novel, and instead surrounding his earlier childhood.These, however, allow Sterne to identify the early developments of Tristram’s individual identity through hereditary and social influences upon his personality.Shandy) is sometimes supposed to have characterised her mother, to prompt or permit a daughter to publish such a collection of letters as those which were first given to the world in 1775.Charity, not unsupported by probability, has trusted that Madame de Medalle could not read Latin, but she certainly could read English; and only an utterly corrupted heart, or an incurably dense or feather-brained head, could hide from her the fact that not a few of the English letters she published were damaging to her father’s character.Laurence Sterne was, with two sisters, the only “permanent child” (to borrow a pleasant phrase of Mr.Traill’s) out of a very plentiful but most impermanent family, borne in the most inconvenient circumstances possible by Agnes Nuttle or Herbert or Sterne, a widow, and daughter or stepdaughter of a sutler of our army in Flanders, to Roger, second son of Simon Sterne of Elvington, in Yorkshire, who was the third son of Dr. The Sternes were of a gentle if not very distinguished family, which, after being seated in Suffolk, migrated to Nottinghamshire.

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