A Room of One’s Own

by: Virginia Woolf

Important Quotations Explained

Call me Mary Beton, Mary Seton, Mary Carmichael or any other name you please—it is not a matter of importance.

This line comes from Chapter One, and its enigmatic and elusive tone regarding the true identity of the narrator is maintained throughout the text. Woolf and the narrator both struggle with the same issues, but they are two distinct entities. The narrator is a fictionalized character—an invention of Virginia Woolf—and she remains vague about her true identity. In this quotation she even instructs the reader to refer to her by different names. This lack of one “true” identity for the narrator gives A Room of One’s Own a sense of being universal: the ideas apply to all women, not just one. The lack of one identity also makes the narrator more convincing. By taking on different identities, the narrator transcends one single voice, and consequently she makes herself a force to be reckoned with. Her blasé attitude about something that is considered fixed and important by most people—identity—makes her all the more intriguing.