Lolita Response Paper

Published: 2021-07-21 01:35:07
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Category: Lolita

Type of paper: Essay

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Lolita can be described as a controversial book that can draw the readers in and cause them to feel sympathetic towards a man who is a murderer, pedophile, predator, and an egomaniac. The author, Vladimir Nabokov, seduced the readers’ minds’ with numerous elements about Humbert to distract them from his true evil tendencies. Humbert is the main character of Lolita and describes his life story from an American jail cell. He begins to describe his childhood and how he was struck by his first love named Annabel Leigh.
They were deeply attracted to one another and attempted to make love for the first time, however, they are interrupted and never able to follow through because Annabel died shortly after. Throughout the novel, Humbert attempts to “recreate” his past and therefore a psychotic obsession follows. Humbert is a sympathetic pedophile that is trapped in his own self-delusion. He is able to manipulate the readers by capturing them with his eloquent writing style, cunning looks, justification, and an array of attempts to get the reader to see through his eyes with his skewed perspective.
Vladimir’s style of writing really stuck out to many readers at the time it was published. Humbert mainly writes in long sentences and uses elegant words to transpose the reader’s feelings towards his lustful desire. Humbert was raised by a multicultural father who gave Humbert the ability to become multilingual and have an impressive education. He feeds the readers’ minds’ with fancy words such as etiolated, sartorial, truculently, Lucerne, platitudinous, or even neuralgic. Humbert is able to distract the reader from the evil in his thoughts by using his literary illusions, ornate style, and multilingual puns.

Also, Vladimir creatively uses anagrams throughout his writing such as a character’s name is Vivian Darkbloom, which correlates with the author’s name Vladimir Nabokov. The words and phrases he uses foreshadow the storyline. For example, the name Dolores, which is Lolita’s real name, means sorrow and grief in Latin. While, Lolita, (the name Humbert made up) sounds light, playful, and suggestive. Humbert changing Dolores’s name shows that he dehumanizes her and created a fantasy of her in his head. Mentally, he already separated her from the normal childhood she needed and fantasized of a fake realm.
Also, the author creates many visual scenes like in the book when he was recalling a shopping trip, “Lifesize plastic figures of snug-nosed children with dun-colored, greenish, brown-dotted, faunish faces floated around me. I realized I was the only shopper in that rather eerie place where I moved about fishlike, in a glaucous aquarium. I sensed strange thoughts. ” His style in writing connects the readers so intensely with Humbert so they can feel his emotions to end up having emotional empathy. Humbert was a man that was fascinated not only with nymphettes, but also his “charming outward appearance”.
Even though Humbert Humbert is a narcissist man, he has a long history of women lusting after him. It all began with his beloved Annabel, then to his first wife Valeria, then onto Charlotte, Lolita Jean Farlow, and lastly Rita. All of these women became entranced by Humbert’s "clean-cut jaw, muscular hand, deep sonorous voice, broad shoulder". Not only were many women falling for Humbert’s looks, but also Humbert himself. He was very aware of his appearance and even says “I was, and still am, despite mes malheurs, an exceptionally handsome male; slow-moving, tall, with soft dark hair and a gloomy but all the more seductive cast of demeanor”.
Humbert is a very egotistical man and compliments his outward appearances to balance his inner guilt. He is able to charm the readers by distracting them with his likable attractiveness. Not only does Humbert Humbert manipulate the audience with his writing style, proper English background, and physical features, but he also justifies his actions. He desperately attempts for the readers to understand his shameful past and makes excuses for the actions he made. He is an unreliable narrator and rarely reveals how the scenes truly play out.
Humbert gives the story in a biased manner and is overwhelmed in his self-delusion. He is constantly looking for sympathy and wants the reader to be as perverse as he is. Many say that he battles between beauty and lust. He pretends that he is appreciating beauty and completely voids his ethics and morals. Sadly, lust ultimately wins and he overtakes Lolita’s innocence. Again, Humbert blames Quilty for taking Lolita’s innocence when it was truly Humbert himself. He somewhat understands his actions were wrong when he begins to express regret, “Reader!
What I heard was but the melody of children at play, nothing but that, and so limpid was the air within this vapor of blended voices, majestic and minute, remote and magically near, frank and divinely enigmatic—one could hear now and then, as if released, an almost articulate spurt of vivid laughter […] I stood listening to that musical vibration from my lofty slope […] and then I knew that the hopelessly poignant thing was not Lolita's absence from my side, but the absence of her voice from that concord” Humbert is an evil man that will not accept his pedophiliac nature.
Lolita quickly had her mother, innocence, and rights taken from her when Humbert walked into her life. Humbert likes to paint Lolita as a young girl infatuated with him because his looks resembled that of a famous celebrity she had a crush on. However, he rarely goes into depth on Lolita’s thoughts and emotions and completely dismisses them. He immediately believes this “street smart” girl feels the exact same way he does.
Not only does Humbert try to twist that Lolita feels the same way as Humbert feels, but he also manipulates the readers to think that Lolita has full control over the relationship. If it wasn’t for Humbert madly obsessing over Lolita, her mother Charlotte, would not run away frantically from finding out about Humbert’s true dark feelings for Lolita. Charlotte is instantly killed by a car and Humbert truly has no guilt whatsoever for her death but feels relieved instead. Humbert then is able to take full control of Lolita’s life and belongings.
Humbert is constantly bribing Lolita for sexual favors and strips her away from having any freedom at school such as talking to boys. They travel across the country and Lolita ripped away from having anything close to a normal life. Humbert is proven to be a manipulator and controller because of his behavior in the past. Throughout his childhood, he had control over his life after his mother’s death. He is able to manipulate Lolita by being in full control of the money and tells her that she has nowhere to go if she attempts to leave him.
She had no other alternative but to fall to someone else to escape the trap that Humbert put on Lolita. Humbert is able to make the audience see that he is just a man that can’t control his lust and love for a girl when she is constantly throwing herself at him. However, that may not be the case and by him becoming more and more controlling of Lolita, he is losing less control of himself. Overall, Humbert is a sympathetic pedophile constantly lurking for others to understand his feelings or he may think that people just think and feel as he does.
He uses numerous techniques to grab his victims and get them to be controlled or manipulated. When the book was first published, many did not see the art to Nabakov’s book and completely dismissed it as “pornographic” and “innapropriate”. However, Nabakov took a dark storyline and got the readers to “become one” with the villain. Even Nabakov says Humbert is a “monster of incuriosity” and “a vain and cruel wretch”. Nabakov is able to get the audience to feel sympathetic for him and seduce the readers with his memoirs.

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