A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy

A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy Literary Elements



Setting and Context

18th-Century France

Narrator and Point of View

Yorick; first-person

Tone and Mood

Witty; whimsical; didactic; sentimental; ironic

Protagonist and Antagonist

Protagonist: Yorick; Antagonist: None

Major Conflict

The novel is very episodic and fragmented; thus, there are a few minor conflicts:
-how will each of Yorick's flirtations turn out?
-will Yorick get his passport?


Yorick discovers that he is wanted by the French police for not having his passport.


The novel does not possess a traditional plot structure, so foreshadowing is a bit difficult to discern. Nevertheless, a few examples may be the following:
-Yorick's spontaneity, which leads him to journey to France, is a consistent trait that will lead to trouble.
-Yorick's incomplete encounter with Madame de L*** foreshadows all of the other incomplete encounters he will have.


-"I felt something at first within me which was not in strict unison with the lesson of virtue I had given her the night before" (77)
-"I am apt to be taken with all kinds of people at first sight" (26)


-Sancho Panza and Don Quixote from the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (11)
-The character "Eliza" is based on Sterne's real-life love interest
-Guido Reni, a famous Baroque Italian painter (5)
-"peripatetic philosopher" refers to Aristotle (8)
-Smelfungus and Mundungus allude to Smollett and Sharp (24)
-Euripides's famous play Andromeda, which survives only in fragments (29)
-"Alas, poor Yorick!" is from Hamlet (41)


see other entry





Metonymy and Synecdoche



-"It must have been observed by many a peripatetic philosopher, That nature has set up by her own unquestionable authority certain boundaries and fences to circumscribe the discontent of man; she has effected her purpose in the quietest and easiest manner by laying him under almost insuperable obligations to work out his ease, and to sustain his sufferings at home" (8)
-"...but he had travell’d straight on, looking neither to his right hand nor his left, lest Love or Pity should seduce him out of his road" (25)
-"If Nature has so wove her web of kindness, that some threads of love and desire are entangled with the piece,—must the whole web be rent in drawing them out?—Whip me such stoics, great Governor of Nature! said I to myself" (79)