In Pride and Prejudice, A usten suggests a proper balance between the conflicting claims of the head and the heart. Discuss.

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen suggests a proper balance between the conflicting claims of the head and of the heart by presenting situations common to the Regency era regarding men, women, and their dynamics in courtship and marriage.

Through the character of Elizabeth, Austen proposes that, no matter how limited women are to chose for themselves, they can still set their own goals and aspire to something that leaves them fulfilled, and satisfied, as individuals.

Following the rules of engagement of society not always leads to the best outcome. Therefore, success in marriage does not depend on a huge heart like Jane's, a great passion like Lydia's, a good salary like Georgiana's, nor the best intentions, like Charlotte: Success, in every way, happens when a leveled head looks out for its needs and still has the capacity to hold big hopes for succeeding. This would be the case of Elizabeth.

Clearly, Austen sends his message across her many literary works. Not once will we see a damsel in distress crying out for her prince charming and living happily ever after. What we find in Austen's heroines are women who are independent thinkers, free spirited and well-grounded. No matter how many flaws they have, the one flaw they will never possess is weakness of character, nor feebleness of mind. That's how Austen balances the conflicts of the heart and the claims of the brain.