A Room of One's Own


Virginia Woolf

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Themes and Colors
Financial and Intellectual Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Society Theme Icon
Creating a Legacy of Women Writers Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in A Room of One's Own, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Truth Theme Icon

Beneath Woolf's argument about what it takes for a woman to create fiction is another more universal argument about the nature of truth, which inevitably casts a shadow over the points she makes. Woolf seems to realize two main points about the nature of truth that she passes on to her audience.

The first point has to do with is subjectivity. As a lecturer, she says she hopes that her listeners find some truth in what she is saying, but she doesn't claim to be able to impart it herself. She claims that all truth is a kind of experience and is subjective. She hopes to impart something truthful, not by stating facts or beliefs but by showing her experience and perspective and, in doing so, perhaps the listener can deduce something true. She goes about the essay in this vein, describing with an "I" voice the sensory and mental processes of her day.

The second point is that the quest for truth connects her with both the women and men in her story. As the narrator finds herself shut out of college buildings and women writers absent on the library shelves, she observes the extent of the intellectual life around her and, indeed, in front of her in the form of the women of Newnham and Girton whom she is addressing. Her pursuit of knowledge and her taste for debate and intellectual expression connects her with those around her, including the male ‘professor' types who have been so supported by society.

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Truth ThemeTracker

The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Truth appears in each chapter of A Room of One's Own. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis.
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Truth Quotes in A Room of One's Own

Below you will find the important quotes in A Room of One's Own related to the theme of Truth.
Chapter 1 Quotes

All I could do was to offer you an opinion upon one minor point—a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction; and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of fiction unsolved.

Related Characters: Virginia Woolf (speaker)
Related Symbols: A Room of One's Own
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

Meanwhile the wineglasses had flushed yellow and flushed crimson; had been emptied; had been filled. And thus by degrees was lit, half-way down the spine, which is the seat of the soul, not that hard little electric light which we call brilliance, as it pops in and out upon our lips, but the more profound, subtle and subterranean glow which is the rich yellow flame of rational intercourse.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker)
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

Perhaps now it would be better to give up seeking for the truth, and receiving on one's head an avalanche of opinion hot as lava, discoloured as dish-water.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker)
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:

A very queer, composite being thus emerges. Imaginatively she is of the

highest importance; practically she is completely insignificant.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker)
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

Do not start. Do not blush. Let us admit in the privacy of our own society that these things sometimes happen. Sometimes women do like women.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker)
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis: