Regency England What was expected of men

In "Pride and Prejudice," Jane Austen starts out the novel with"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." The same thing can be said the other way that women wants a man in her life as well. But how does a woman choose their husband? Or what was expected of men? Women looked at men by social status, possession of property, virtue, esteem and handsomeness of the man.

Women in all kinds of classes couldn't find a man that fits their expectation. But they didn't have so much time to choose men since their mothers wanted them to get married at an early age. In the novel, Charlotte Lucas tells Elizabeth that she is engaged to Mr.Collins. She tells Elizabeth not to judge her since she is already 27 years old, doesn't have a lot of money, and causing too much trouble for her parents. By getting married, they can get money, a property to stay in, and protection. But like Charlotte, not all women could afford to find their true love and get married with them.

One of the things women looked at was social status and possession of property. Women expected men to have a lot of money and stable income. The status in the society shows the wealth and protection that a woman can get when they are married. Mr.Bennet said that he would not meet Mr.Bingley who make five thousand a year, but visit everyone in the neighborhood who makes twenty thousand a year if they come. This shows that parents want their daughters to get married to a rich man so they can get a secure living. Also, possession of property is important for women. Elizabeth thinks that it's imprudent to fall in love with Wickham because of his poverty situation and not having a gorgeous property. Compared to him, Mr.Darcy had the income of ten thousand a year and a large property. Women looked at men from the aspect of money or income, and possession of property.

Next thing that women was looking for in a men is virtue and esteem. Appearance and behavior is a important point to choosing a man in the novel. Mr.Darcy wasn't didn't have a very good behavior, but as time went on he revealed his true behavior to Elizabeth and that made her fall in love with him. The behavior difference between public and private is the reason Mr.Darcy acted the way he did in the novel. Elizabeth said that she would never marry a man who has been rude to her, but she noticed he was completely different as time went on. Also, Elizabeth falls in love with Wickham who has a good behavior and manner.

Although there are many things that women consider when looking for a man, more and more people are finding a man for true love and not for money, property, and anything else. Elizabeth is outgoing and doesn't care what other people think about it and I think the novel is portraying the era in which women find men from their true heart.


Gao, Haiyan. "Jane Austen's ideal man in Pride and Prejudice." Theory and Practice in Language Studies, vol. 3, no. 2, 2013, p. 384+. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 31 Mar. 2017.

Drum, Alice. "Pride and prestige: Jane Austen and the professions." College Literature, vol. 36, no. 3, 2009, p. 92+. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 31 Mar. 2017.

Bander, Elaine. "Neither sex, money, nor power: why Elizabeth finally says 'yes!'." Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal, vol. 34, 2012, p. 25+. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 31 Mar. 2017.


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