Book 6, Chapters 17-25 Summary
This section begins with a discussion about whether or not it is time for Tristram to wear "breeches." For young boys, the wearing of breeches (short pants that ended just below the knees) was a sign of maturity, a rite of passage, which signaled that the boy was now old enough to come under his father's care. Prior to wearing breeches, young European boys in the eighteenth century wore dresses.
Mr. Shandy believes Tristram is now old enough to wear pants. So he decides to have a conversation with Mrs. Shandy when they retire for the evening. Although Mr. Shandy thinks he is having a discussion about the matter with his wife, he really is talking to himself, as Mrs. Shandy agrees with everything that Mr. Shandy says....
(The entire section is 563 words.)