The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
by Laurence Sterne
Character Role Analysis
Toby is just the kind of guy you want teaching impressionable Tristram (other than that war thing). And Tristram's soaking it in like a sponge: watching Toby release that pesky fly left a pretty strong impression. If Walter Shandy and Toby represent two sides of Tristram struggling for dominance—which we think they probably do—then Toby is the good angel. He's the one perching on Tristram's shoulder urging him to be kind, loving, and sentimental.