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The Novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Essay by   •  July 17, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  512 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,629 Views

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Summary

The novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov revolves around Humbert Humbert and his strong desire for "nymphets," or young, but sexually aware girls, mainly, "Lolita" or Dolores Haze. His desire starts at 13 with his first love, Annabel Leigh. She later dies from a deadly disease, and he never fully recovers from her death, he looks for girls to match his first love, hence the nymphets. When he is an adult, he becomes an English teacher and marries an adult woman, but his marriage fails. He then moves to the United States, and moves in with a woman named Charlotte Haze, and her daughter Dolores Haze. He becomes obsessed with Lolita and constantly watching her and trying to flirt. While he adores, Lolita, Charlotte falls in love with him, yet he detests her. Charlotte sends Lolita off to summer camp because she can be hard to handle. Humbert marries Charlotte just to stay near Lolita; he has no feelings for Charlotte, except those of hate. Humbert keeps all his feelings in a journal, his love for Lolita and hate for her mother. Charlotte eventually finds the journal and confronts him about it. He denies everything and says they are characters in his story. She doesn't believe him and runs out in panic to get her daughter and leave him. Conveniently for Humbert, she gets hit by a car on her way out. He thought of killing her, but could never do it. Afterwards, he goes to pick up Lolita and dreads telling her the truth. They stop at a motel and they have sex. There, a shadowy figure seems to take interest in them. They drive around the country and Lolita learns how to better manipulate him. Humbert gets a job, and Lolita enrolls in school. Her need to socialize with boys starts to put a strain on their relationship. Lolita begins to act secretly and they go on another road trip. Eventually, Lolita gets ill and Humbert take her to the hospital. Humbert goes to pick her up, but a nurse informs him that she has already been picked up by an uncle. Since Lolita has been kidnapped, he spends 2 years looking for her, with a divorcee named Rita. Humbert eventually gets a letter asking for money from Lolita who is now married and pregnant. Humbert is determined to kill her kidnapper. He believes it is her husband, though she admits it was Clair Quilty. Humbert then tracks him down and murders him, leading to his arrest. Lolita dies in childbirth and Humbert dies of coronary thrombosis in jail before his trial.

Purpose

Vladimir uses a lot of imagery in his book. Even though it is about terrible things Humbert does, he writes in a way that makes it enchanting and almost making readers sympathize with Humbert for his crimes. Doppelgangers play a role in the novel, Humbert's name is a repeat of itself. Quilty is a representation of Humbert's even darker side. It is made to believe they are more different than similar, but they are both pedophiles,

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