Literary Mixtape: Elizabeth Bennet


If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennet, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: Jane Austen’s beloved heroine, Elizabeth Bennet.

Elizabeth Bennet, the second eldest in a family of five daughters, is possessed of “a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in any thing ridiculous” and a healthy dose of scorn for her silly sisters. Her father’s favorite, Lizzy is headstrong, sharp-tongued and quite proud of the fact that she has what her father calls “something more of quickness than her sisters.” To that end, she has a — dare we suggest — hipsterish tendency to judge everyone around her. But she’s still a romantic to some degree, rejecting the notion that she should marry for money, and wanting instead to find a man she actually likes. And one who isn’t her father’s cousin. Seeing as she’s a savvy, smart-aleck of a girl with a good head on her shoulders, we think she’d be into wry, intelligent indie rock and all the hipster classics. Here’s what we think she would scheme, scold, and judge her peers to.

“Panda Panda Panda” — Deerhoof

Well, she’s got to have something to blast in protest when her silly-ass sisters are playing Ke$ha and jumping around the house. This would bug the crap out of them.

“Girls” — Marina and the Diamonds

The anthem of ladies everywhere who live to please themselves and not their society. Come on, Kitty is definitely a calorie-counter.

“No Children” — The Mountain Goats

As one of our favorite heroines of all time, and a spunky one at that, we have to believe that Elizabeth would like the Mountain Goats as much as we do. But if nothing else, she would probably think this song was hilarious.

“Wild World” — Cat Stevens

Everyone knows that Lizzy is her daddy’s favorite, so we think it’s a safe bet she’d be listening to this track. After all, it’s every daddy’s girl’s favorite song for when she’s feeling sad about leaving home.

“Oh What A World” — Rufus Wainwright

Despite all the trials and tribulations, Elizabeth is a pretty happy girl at ease with herself and her world. And we think she and Rufus Wainwright would be best friends if the borders of reality just gave them a chance.

“Curly Teeth” — Micachu & the Shapes

Elizabeth would be into the happily irreverent oddness of Micachu & the Shapes, with all their squeaky instruments and sleepy female vocals. Plus, everyone loves a song about a tough girl.

“Two Weeks” — Grizzly Bear

This song is cheery, pleasant and cooler-than-thou all at once, just like Miss Bennet.

“Absolutely Cuckoo” — The Magnetic Fields

The Magnetic Fields are the smart indie girl’s favorite band, it’s true. But since they’re pretty much ridiculous (and we mean that in the best way possible) and fairly straight-shooting, we think Elizabeth would like them even more than your average bear.

“Little Bit” — Lykke Li

Even the tough girls fall in love at the end of the story. But only if you fall in love with them first.