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A Room of One’s Own

Virginia Woolf

Character List

Summary

Analysis of Major Character

"I"  -  The fictionalized author-surrogate ("call me Mary Beton, Mary Seton, Mary Carmichael or by any name you please—it is not a matter of any importance") whose process of reflection on the topic "women and fiction" forms the substance of the essay.
The Beadle  -  An Oxbridge security official who reminds the narrator that only "Fellows and Scholars" are permitted on the grass; women must remain on the gravel path.
Mary Seton -  Student at Fernham College and friend of the narrator.
Mary Beton -  The narrator's aunt, whose legacy of five hundred pounds a year secures her niece's financial independence. (Mary Beton is also one of the names Woolf assigns to her narrator, whose identity, she says, is irrelevant.)
Judith Shakespeare -  The imagined sister of William Shakespeare, who suffers greatly and eventually commits suicide because she can find no socially acceptable outlets for her genius.
Mary Carmichael -  A fictitious novelist, contemporary with the narrator of Woolf's essay. In her first novel, she has "broken the sentence, broken the sequence" and forever changed the course of women's writing.
Mr. A -  An imagined male author, whose work is overshadowed by a looming self-consciousness and petulant self-assertiveness.

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