Literature Study GuidesLolitaPart 1 Chapters 30 31 Summary

Lolita | Study Guide

Vladimir Nabokov

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Lolita | Part 1, Chapters 30–31 | Summary



Chapter 30

Humbert imagines what he would paint on the murals of The Enchanted Hunters hotel. Now having possessed Lolita, Humbert imagines repainting the hotel mural with sexual and violent images, suggesting his rape of her. In place of dreamlike hunting scenes featuring enchanted hunters and fairy tale creatures, the walls should show bloody scenes of carnivores attacking their victims.

Chapter 31

Humbert once again defends himself by saying that in other places a man of 40 having sex with a girl of 12 is not considered wrong, adding that Lolita was not a virgin anyway.


Humbert's imaginary repainting of the hotel mural suggests a degree of guilt over his rape of a 12-year-old girl. In the next chapter he says that he is trying to sort out the heaven and hell of "nymphet love." He sees "the beastly and beautiful" merging, but fails to "fix" it—another oblique reference to butterflies being fixed with a pin. He attempts to defend his actions to relieve his own "horror," suggesting that he has more than an inkling that he has irreparably harmed Lolita.

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