Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?
One can see he’s been very badly brought up. He wants licking into shape.
lick in the shape = touch up; put the finishing touches to; reform someone’s character
Thanks for your efforts.
To lick can mean to beat, so I agree with Emsr2d2 that it's more boot camp than finishing school.