Mr. Knightley tells Emma, “There is one thing, Emma, which a man can always do if he chooses, and that is his duty; not by manoeuvring and finessing, but by vigour and resolution.” Duty is an important part of maintaining the social norms. It is the duty of the gentry to care for the poor. It is the duty of the first son to care for all dependents in his care. It is the duty of a woman to marry well for the sake of her siblings. Regency life was filled with duty. Abandoning one’s duty can result in the disapproval of one’s community.