In Virginia Woolf ’s Flush (1933), a biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s cocker spaniel, Flush sees himself in the mirror next to his mistress, and then barks and trembles. Woolf asks, “Was not the little brown dog opposite himself? But what is ‘oneself ’? Is it the thing people see? Or is it the thing one is?” (56). Woolf, with her penchant for making up phrases, wonders what effect language has on the self. After Barrett Browning’s son is born, Woolf writes that it would be nice to suppose that “while the baby day by day picked up a new word and thus removed sensation a little further beyond reach, Flush was fated to remain for ever in a Paradise where essences exist in their utmost purity” (140). Flush cannot remain in Paradise, though, because he has heard the voices of men and so has learned all the passions of humans (140-41). Not even a dog is exempt from the effects of language on subjectivity. Not surprisingly, the riddle of subjectivity, of oneself, is central to Woolf ’s early diary. Woolf struggles to find her own subjectivity early in her life, and this struggle is most clearly seen in her diary. For Woolf, the world was made up of language, and the diary can be seen as Woolf ’s lingual construction of self. As such, the diary is a site of conflict. As the diary shows, the development of the self is never smooth; it involves negotiating the place of oneself in the world, as well as the extent to which one allows others to dictate one’s existence.