Women of the victorian era were not considered to be “a part of a man’s society”, but merely an accessory to it. With marriage and family basically being their entire world, women were always looked down on. Known for having to depend on a man physically, spiritually, and financially. They were always expected to be calm quiet and obedient;but in contrast to all of these expectations, the main protagonist, Jane Eyre, surpasses these expectations. She stuck up for herself. It didn’t matter if you were rich, poor, man or female, she didn’t allow anyone treat her any type of way. She was deemed as a threat to mens power, and they would do anything to keep her from gaining too much power against them. She was a character designed to symbolize a new time in history; a character to allowed females to realize that they too, could be independent.
Ever since the beginning Jane has had to stand up for herself, because she was always bullied by the Reed family; especially John Reed, her older cousin. He would mock her for being poor and for not being an actual blood member of his family. How Jane is a nuisance to the family, for being a chore; and this sort of behaviour from him is not to be punished. It is when Jane fights back at him, when she gets in trouble, for her actions are not deemed as unladylike. In Chapter 1 it states, ” You have no business to take our books; you are a dependent, mama says; you have no money, your father left you none; you ought to beg, and not live with gentlemen’s children like us, and eat the same meals we do, and rummage my bookshelves; for they are mine; all the house belongs to me, or will do in a few years. Go and stand by the door, out of the way of the mirror and windows.” This statement is said by John Reed after finding Jane reading one of “his” books. Because he is a young man, and Jane is not younger than him, she is also poor and a female. Enabling John to speak to her as if she is below him; because she technically is. After his comments, he proceeds to hit her,