A Love Story: Or Is It?
“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins, my sin, my soul” (Nabokov 9). Quoted from Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita, Humbert Humbert briefly describes his sensibilities towards his love Lolita. I’ve italicized love for the reason that this book is perceived often as not a true American love story but as a pedophile’s lust. The reasoning for the italicization is because I wanted to emphasis on the point that this book offers more than that of a pedophile’s love. Nabokov’s novel does a very good job of creating an interesting yet unorthodoxed plot. What Nabokov might find acceptable in today’s society, some people might find very offensive and disrupting. He does this to grab the reader’s attention; therefore, building their interests by having them see the other side of things. Why many readers may find this book to be associated with pornography or just another literary piece surrounded around pedophilia, Nabokov hits you with textual evidence, which may sway reader’s minds. As a reader of this novel, I am compelled to show you how this book is a true American “Love Story.”
Before I move on, I’d like to actually show you that Humbert is indeed considered a pedophile and let’s not forget this. Gunter Schmidt, once wrote that:
Pedophiles are men whose sexual wishes and desires for relationship bonds and love are focused either primarily or exclusively on children who have not reached puberty, whereby the relative importance of each of these three areas—sexuality, relationship, and love— may vary, as it does with other people as well. (Schmidt 473)
As you can see, Schmidt has laid out a very narrow and precise definition of a pedophile. With only reading the first line, I noticed that automatically Humbert fits the pedophile category without question. Humbert seeks smaller children as a way to fulfill his fantasies and wishes. In Schmidt’s passage, in the very last sentence he lists out the importance of these different fields of the pedophile desires and wishes. He has listed them as such: sexuality, relationship and love. I feel like what he’s trying to say is that there are three stages of a pedophile and once they’ve accomplished each level they move onto the other. In relation to Nabokov’s piece, Humbert Humbert quickly cycles thru these levels with Lolita. First it was lust, then he established a relationship with Lo whether age made a difference or not. As the novel progresses the relationship progressively enhanced his love for her. Many critics have analyzed Nabokov’s piece, and have found many different clues that suggest that this book indeed does represent a true American love story with pedophilia left to the side. Now that we’ve categorized Humbert as a pedophile without reasonable doubt, let’s move on to the reasons why this novel should and/or is a “Love Story.”
My first example from the text that I thought I could use to relate this story to a “Love Story,” I happened to find...