Laurence Sterne Writing Styles in The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy

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Point of View

Sterne tells the story from the point of view of the narrator, Tristram Shandy. Tristram begins by claiming the story is about his life, but then rarely mentions himself in the narrative. Most of the stories are about his family and often he tells them before his life had actually begun. For example, Toby passes over the anecdote about his conception, immediately rendering the story unreliable. In fact, most of the stories are second hand, coming from when he was either very young or yet to be born.

The only story he tells which has any semblance to reality is when he writes of his travels in France. It is here the reader can see that some of what he said in earlier volumes was merely symbolic. For example, in the third volume, his brother Bobby dies just before he goes on his travels to Europe...

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This section contains 1,217 words
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Buy The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy Study Guide
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