Tristram Shandy Book 4, Chapters 11-18 Summary

Laurence Sterne

Book 4, Chapters 11-18 Summary

Mr. Shandy is talking to Toby when one of the housemaids walks by them. Mr. Shandy asks if the woman knows how his wife is doing. The maid offers only a vague answer or no answer at all to his questions before she walks away.

Commenting on the maid's attitude, Mr. Shandy tells Toby, who is unmarried, that one of the greatest perplexities of married life is the way all the female staff react when the mistress of the house is either ill or in bed due to pregnancy or birthing. When his wife is not feeling well, Mr. Shandy says, the other females in the house all grow an inch taller, so to speak. They become more confident in themselves and feel they have the right not to consider the husband and his needs.


(The entire section is 523 words.)