A Book Report On Laurence Sterne's Book Called "A Sentimental Journey"

1552 words - 6 pages

The travel-book called "A Sentimental Journey" was written by Laurence Sterne; is about his own sentimental journey to France and Italy. In the eighteenth century, in England there was a great interest for travelling and for travel books. Sterne's "A Sentimental Journey" is a travel-book or it is considered to be a travel book. In fact, this book is different from the others, because it is a satire, which makes fun of the conventional travel books of the time. As it is understood from the name of the book; it deals with feelings, senses and emotion, not with the places, monuments or other concrete things. In the book the protagonist's name is Yorick and he is at the same time the narrator of the book. He is the sentimental traveller and follows his sensibility. He is so much different from the normal travellers. In a way, he wrote his travels with a different perspective, in which he puts his own style. However, Yorick is a kind of mask for him. The main emphasis of the book is based on senses and emotions, so that the sexual attraction and feelings between men and women are very important in Sterne's book. Yorick has many relationships with women. Therefore, when we look through the story of Yorick, it tells much about women and the sexual feelings between genders, but the most important thing is that; what about the importance of women for Yorick and for Laurence Sterne? Also what is sensibility for man and for women?In order to answer all of these questions, we should closely look at the book at the same time to the certain features of that time. In the eighteenth century, women were considered to be more fragile than men and they were also seen as more sensitive and sensible. However, to be fragile and sensitive means to be weak and helpless for the eighteenth century people, so women were considered to be weak, helpless and powerless. For instance, in Sterne's "A Sentimental Journey" during Yorick's journey in France, in a shop he is amazed because a woman, who is working in a shop with her husband, has the legislative and executive powers of the job in her hands, without having the support of her husband. Her husband sometimes comes to the shop. Yorick cannot believe that how can a woman can be so powerful while working by herself without her husband's help. " ... some of them polish like a brilliant- Monsieur le Mari is little better than the stone under your foot." (Sterne, 54) According to him women are resembling a pebble under your foot, sometimes the beautiful ones can resemble a polished pebble, which shines brilliantly. As we can understand from his words according to Yorick in business a woman cannot be successful or better than man. This incident helps us to start to draw a portrayal of woman in the eighteenth century. During Yorick's conversation with Monsieur Le Count De B. in Versailles, he tells his opinions about women and they start to talk about it. Yorick says to the Count "God bless them all! Said I, after much discourse...

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