How does the scene featuring Purity, Chastity, and Modesty figure into our understanding of the narrative as a whole?
This is a puzzling scene, and probably the most fantastical one in the book. Students should note that these three figures represent traditionally feminine "values," and that they lose out to "truth." We must remember that the biographer has made it clear that it is her duty to tell the "truth" in this work, and the truth is that Orlando becomes a woman. It would be "modest" not to speak of gender, but the biographer has a duty. Students might also recognize the appearance of these figures as a humorous allusion to the Christmas ghosts in Dickens.
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