Study Guide

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman Book 5, Chapter 7

By Laurence Sterne

Book 5, Chapter 7

  • When Obadiah announces Bobby's death in the kitchen, Susannah thinks about all Mrs. Shandy's clothes that she'll have to dye black for mourning.
  • Obadiah hopes it's not true, because they'll have a heck of a time convincing Mr. Shandy not to improve the field.
  • Trim seizes this opportunity to sermonize a bit about the fragility of life. And Tristram interrupts to remind his readers that we're all nothing but bodies with senses before he returns to Trim's speech.
  • He punctuates Trim's speech by dropping his hat on the floor to symbolize mortality—a very effective move.