In Lady Audley's Secret, Lady Audley is an independent woman who perceives herself as being mad and uses it to get away with all the crimes that she commits; she claimed that her mother was insane, she is too. She is very intelligent and knows how to protect herself from everything that she has done. We know that she changed her identity a lot because she was ashamed of who she was and she married Sir Michael because she wanted more wealth and a status in her life. .
When Lady Audley was young, she went to visit her mom in the asylum and from there she had a thought in her mind that she might be crazy someday as well. Insanity was believed to be more common in women than man in the early ages. Women weren't treated the same as men, and only a few women had power and Lady Audley wanted that power. She married Sir Michael who is a lot older than her because she knew if she married him she would get the wealth and the status she wants which only a few people have. There were a lot of expectation in the early ages from women and if they didn't live up to those expectations they weren't treated properly but Lady Audley had everything in terms of physical appearance, but she just didn't have wealth. When Lady Audley commits a mistake; she tries to get away with the mistake by perceiving herself as mad and she justifies it by saying that her mother was mad, and it carried on to her. One more reason that Lady Audley's is considered mad is that she doesn't act like any other women and she doesn't live up to the society's expectation. Lady Audley is a woman who knows what she wants and will do anything for it. In the book, this is described as a madwoman. The expectations from women were strict, and any behavior was perceived as insanity, and in those time women had less legal rights. Because of the expectations Lady Audley was accused of being mad, she ended up in an asylum as a result. She is not a mad woman she has committed crime and if someone commits a crime they shouldn't end up in an asylum, they should be in jail.