Lolita - Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov Vladimir Nabokovs...

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“Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita” is perhaps one of the most famous novels of the Twentieth Century. For not only did Nabokov dare to explore the forbidden subject of an older man’s obsessive love and lustful desire for a young girl, he did so with sheer poetry and language mastery. Joyce Carol Oates once said that “Lolita is one of our finest American novels, a triumph of style and vision” (Oates Pp). However beautifully written, “Lolita” is the story of a pedophile that preys upon a female child and then murders to both protect her and as revenge against the victim. Although, it has existed throughout history, pedophilia is taboo in civilized societies. It is not only frowned upon morally but it is generally considered a criminal act of sexual exploitation because it is believed that a child cannot reason the act itself or the consequences. Nabokov’s novel may have become a classic in modern literature, yet sexuality between an adult and child is as morally unacceptable and criminally punishable today as it was in the mid- fifties. The reader is introduced to Nabokov’s protagonist, Humbert Humbert, by a fictional character named John Ray, who has been assigned the task of editing Humbert’s manuscript, “Lolita,” or the “Confession of a White Widowed Male,” by
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Apparently Humbert wrote his work while in jail awaiting his trial for the murder of Clare Quilty, however, Humbert died suddenly of a heart attack. According to the manuscript, the crime took place sometime in the autumn of 1952. Humbert begins his manuscript expressing his passion and love for “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul…. standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita” (Nabokov pp 9). Nabokov’s character then goes on to describe his childhood and his adolescent relationship with the “girl-child,” Annabel, whom he referred to as the “precursor” to Lolita (Nabokov pp 9). Of Humbert’s encounter with Annabel, Nabokov writes that she would “let me feed on her open mouth, while with a generosity that was ready to offer her everything, my heart, my throat, my entrails, I gave her to hold in her awkward fist the scepter of my passion” (Nabokov pp 15). This brief sexual encounter ended before climax when the two were interrupted by chance onlookers. Annabel died some four months later. Humbert believes that this young love, and especially the fact that they never completed the sexual act was the root of his obsession for girl-children, nymphets, and which ultimately led to his obsessive lust for Lolita. He believed that Annabel held him in some magical spell that was only broken when he first laid eyes upon his Lolita. After briefly discussing how he had planned to become a psychiatrist but
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Lolita - Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov Vladimir Nabokovs...

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