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Lolita | Study Guide

Vladimir Nabokov

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Lolita | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

lolita-vladimir-nabokovCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.Sources: NPR, The New York Times, The New RepublicLolita HazeFormally Dolores, a lively 12-year-old girlClare QuiltyHumberts rivalHumbert HumbertUnreliable narrator Charlotte HazeLolitas motherMURDERSPREYS ON AND RUNS AWAY WITHTORMENTSMARRIES TO STAY WITH LOLITASEDUCESMain CharactersAmerican publishers who refused to publish Lolita when Nabokov sent them the manuscriptYear the first film version of the story was released, directed by Stanley KubrickCopies of Lolita sold in dozens of languages5196250MLolitaby the NumbersButterfliesNymphetsMotifsButterflies appear throughout the novel, often as a metaphor for Lolitas forced emergence from innocence. Games are woven through the story, pointing to Humberts constant power plays.GamesTo shift blame, Humbert says that certain young girls—”nymphets”—have elusive, shifty, soul-shattering, insidious charm.”Humbert Humbert, Chapter 28nd she was mine, she was mine, the key was in my fist, my fist was in my pocket, she was mine.PhysicalHumbertRealityA powerful writer who shocked and awed the American literary scene, Nabokov pulled off the unthinkable: drawing readers into the mind and manipulations of a sexual predator. His mastery of the English language and stunning prose lifted Lolita from the ranks of pornographic novels to the American literary canon.VLADIMIR NABOKOV1899–1977Born to a Russian aristocratic family, Nabokov was a self-proclaimed American writer” who achieved global fame with Lolita. Educated at Cambridge, he settled in the United States in 1940 and became a professor at Cornell University in 1948, often employing his writing brilliance in controversial ways. While Lolita dominated his career, Nabokovs diverse bibliography influenced many American writers in the second half of the 20th century.AuthorTold by unreliable narrator Humbert Humbert, Lolita is the shocking story of a sexual predator in his late 30s pursuing a 12-year-old girl. Manipulating readers as well as Lolita, Humbert takes pains to justify the relationship by claiming romantic love. Although the masterful writing and wry observations enable us to keep reading, it doesn’t make the heroines undoing any less disturbing.A MasterManipulatorTHEMESEmotionalIntellectualJustifiedDesireAttractionRapeDevotionDelusionTabooPhysicalEmotionalIntellectualVladimir Nabokov1955EnglishNovel AuthorYear PublishedOriginal LanguageLolitaHumbert uses physicality to attract, and claims Lolita does the same. The central horror of Lolita is his attempt to justify the rape of a 12-year-old girl.Humberts manipulation is emotional as well as physical, and he tries to convince readers that his desire blinds him to destroying Lolitas childhood.Humberts intelligence allows him to charm and manipulate everyone (including the reader). He claims his intention justifies his actions.Historical FictionInfluence

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