A Room of One’s Own

by: Virginia Woolf

Important Quotations Explained

One must strain off what was personal and accidental in all these impressions and so reach the pure fluid, the essential oil of truth.

This assertion, presented in Chapter Two, characterizes the narrator’s initial mission in A Room of One’s Own. She endeavors to find the absolutely essential truth and expose it, but over the course of the text, the narrator comes to realize that no absolute truth exists. She sees that the experience of each person and his or her life is inextricable from his or her perceptions of reality. In other words, we cannot remove the self, the historical period, or any other inherent biases from someone’s opinion. Everything depends on everything else, and the kind of person someone is absolutely influences everything he or she does—even the kind of art he or she creates. This idea is connected to her argument that the plight of women has influenced the dearth of good literature that they have produced. The narrator fictionalizes A Room of One’s Own, demonstrating this synthesis of fact and fiction.