What is Jane Austen's attitude towards men as a whole?

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Jane Austen's attitude towards men doesn't differ from her attitude toward people as a whole: she values those who are honest, compassionate, genuinely courteous, and straightforward in their dealings with others. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet learns to value men for the quality of their character: she comes to understand, for example, that although Mr. Darcy initially appears as cold and a snob who doesn't think she's pretty enough to be worth dancing with, underneath he is an honest and stable person who goes to great trouble to help her family out at a moment of crisis. Meanwhile, though she falls hard for the charming and sexually appealing Wickham, Elizabeth comes to recognize that his outward appearance masks a weak and dishonest person. 

Austen also condemns Mr. Collins as a pompous fool, and as a mean one too, when he condemns Lydia harshly after his elopement and puts his own needs ahead of helping the family. Austen has some sympathy for Collins, noting he grew up with a harsh father, but in the end, skewers people like him who shamelessly flatter the rich and powerful, and who evaluate others on the basis of their status rather than their hearts. Austen has, as well, little love for fools and hypocrites like Collins who preach to others without sympathy or compassion. 

As DW Harding outlines in a famous essay called "Regulated Hatred," Austen, under the cool facade of her writing style, exposes the small but very real tortures people inflict on others in a rigidly class-based society in which some have money and power and some don't. 

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Pride and Prejudice

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