Study Guide

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman Book 4, Chapter 30

By Laurence Sterne

Book 4, Chapter 30

  • At home, Tristram is down in the dumps. Luckily, his sister Dinah died and left him 1000 pounds—and an unexpected legacy can cheer up anyone.
  • He wonders how best to spend the money: go to Rome? Buy a farm? Add a wing to the house? Or, more realistically, send Tristram's older brother Bobby traveling, or put up a fence around the Ox-moor field? The choices are endless.
  • See, it's a Shandy tradition that the oldest son sow his wild oats. At the same time, the field really needs some work.
  • Mr. Shandy is saved from having to make this decision by another a sort of sad stroke of luck: Bobby has kicked the bucket.