[Jane sits on the floor and looks through a picture book. John, Georgiana and Eliza come.]
John: Here she is.
Jane: What do you want?
John: How dare to ask me, what do you want? Come here when I call you.
Eliza: What are you reading now?
Jane: Bewicks’s History of British Birds.
John: Show me.
Eliza: It’s one of father’s books. You know, not one of these books belongs to you.
John: Bring it to me here.
[Jane rises and cautiously goes to John.]
John: You have no business to take our books. You are a dependant. You have no money. Your father left you none. You ought to beg not to live here with gentlemen’s children like us. Go, stand by the door there, out of the way of the mirror and the windows.
[Jane moves a few steps away, John throws the book at her. John runs towards Jane and grasps her hair and shoulder. He hits her with something. One or two drops of blood from her head trickle down her neck. Eliza screams. Bessie and Mrs. Reed come.]
Jane is left with no other option but to have a self learning session with her uncle's picture books. She sits with the books, not causing any disturbance to any family members. But her three cousins do not let her to read in peace. Even if she moves away from their presence, they deliberately try to mock her and put her in trouble. John, Eliza, and Georgina search for her and cross paths with her. John, who is the eldest, tries to exert his dominance on her. It is also noted that he is very young but is still a bully. He sees his mother being unkind and abusing Jane and learns from that. It is a fine example to showcase that children learn from their parents. John orders Jane about in the house. When she asks him the reason why he had called her, he immediately responds with, "Come here when I call you." This shows the way he considers her as a slave to him who has no rights to speak or question their masters.
John is dominating and orders Jane
The theme of Jane being denied education can be seen in the conversation later when Eliza questions her what she is reading. When Jane says that she has her uncle's book "Bewicks’ History of British Birds", they are shocked and order that Jane has no rights to read books, let alone their father's book. This can also be seen as the children's insecurity that their father's book is read by an outsider. John's reaction to Jane reading the book sums up the entire problem with education being denied for people who were from a lower strata with no fortune. John gets rude to her when he says that books are meant for people like her, meaning that she belongs to a different group. He treats her as a dependent. He is informed by his mother that Jane's father left her no fortune and repeats the same to her. He crosses the line when he says that Jane has no rights to live with gentlemen's children and that she is supposed to go begging on the streets to make her living.
When Jane walks away quietly from his presence, he cannot take the fact the she had not responded and therefore throws the book at her, attacks her from behind, causing injuries to her. This shows that how young children, if not guided in the proper direction, will grow up to violent men, who would swoop down to the level of attacking women. This leads to Eliza screaming, which brings Mrs. Reed and Bessie up.
John hurts Jane when she walks away
Meaning of difficult words:
|Dependant||One who relies on the other person for money or food|
|Gentleman||One who is well-behaved, Owns a fortune|
|Trickle||To fall down in a thin line|
|Grasp||To get hold of|
|Scream||Shout in a high pitch|
|Deliberate||Doing something on purpose|
|Bully||A person who uses his/her strength to hurt other people|
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-3 English Standard-7. Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte (pp. 136-154). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.