Lolita By Vladimir Nabokov Essay

1522 words - 6 pages

Can something so controversial and disguising be regarded for having merit? Many people have quarreled over this matter and formulated acute positions. Some have taken their opinions to the extreme by advocating for the removal of the distasteful topic from literature; while others argue that though the content is vulgar, there is an intended meaning the author wishes to express. I would have to side with the latter of these two positions. Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is one such novel that has produced concern over its questionable subject matter. On the surface, the novel tells of a fourteen year old girl becoming seduced by a middle aged man, but Lolita goes much deeper than its sexual substance. When readers look past their discrepancies, it allows them to analyze the text more open-mindedly. I will admit that to do this a high maturity level is required, which many high school students may not have developed yet. Furthermore, parents may find the piece objectionable due to religious or cultural beliefs and does not want their child open to such crudeness. In accordance to these reasons, I don’t believe Lolita should be taught in regular High School classrooms, and should only be offered to AP students and as pleasure reading.
Before forming an appropriate opinion on Lolita’s banning, basic knowledge of the text is required. The book received its title from Dolores Haze, a fourteen year old girl, who has become the object of aged Humbert Humbert’s obsessive sexual attention. Humbert falls in love with the innocent “nymphet” at first glance, and marries her mother to remain close to his real love. He begins logging dreams and fantasies of Dolores and himself in a journal, which becomes discovered by his wife who urgently wishes to warn her daughter away at camp. During her frantic flee, she is hit and killed by a reckless driver, making Humbert the official legal guardian of Dolores. With the mother gone, Humbert is able to seduce Dolores beginning a series of sexual entanglements that take the “couple” across America, until they settle down in New England. Due to his increase paranoia, Humbert begins to suspect Dolores of arranging an escape when she falls ill and requires hospitalization. However, his suspicions were accurate when he learns that Dolores was released from the hospital under the care of her “uncle.” Humbert searches desperately for his beloved but finds no trace of her, until he receives a letter from Dolores two years later informing him of her location and money struggles. Agreeing to supply her with the needed money for the name of the man who took her away, Humbert sets out to seek revenge on the Clare Quilty. The sad twisted tale ends with Humbert shooting Quilty to death and becoming jailed shortly afterwards for his murder (Nabokov, Vladimir Lolita).
The main reason for the book’s banning in 1955 was because of its controversial subject matter and questionable characters, which go against societies...

Find Another Essay On Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Reading "Signs and Symbols" by Vladimir Nabokov

706 words - 3 pages "Signs and Symbols" by Vladimir Nabokov, has been read in many different ways by many different readers. The story depicts a day in the life of Russian immigrants on the birthday of their mentally ill son. Critics may say it is a simple short story, a collage of signs and symbols or just a good author playing tricks on the reader. But in actuality this story is purposely filled with signs and symbols that the author randomly places to toy with

Lolita by Vladamirs Nabokov Essay

2281 words - 10 pages him in jail by writing them down in a manuscript. He writes to his readers about how he met Lolita, the twelve year old daughter of his landlady, and chronicles how he constantly fantasies about fondeling her body and eventually taking sexual action towards her. He also kidnaps her after her mother dies and often gives Lolita toys, magazines, clothes and money in exchange for sexual favors. Though out the entirety of the novel Humbert writes about

The comparison of the sense of loss and cultural displacement in "Minaret" (by Leila Aboulela) and "Bend Sinister" (by Vladimir Nabokov)

763 words - 3 pages The books bend sinister by Vladimir Nabokov and Minaret by Leila Aboulela bothdeal with the issue of Cultural displacement and loss. I would like to compare thedifference in their situations how they have been or why they feel displaced and howThey dealed with the great losses in their family.In Minaret Najwa (the books main character) is made to leave her home country(Sudan) because her father (a prominent politician) has been accused of fraud

A minor response to the poem "Softest of Tongues" by Vladimir Nabokov

742 words - 3 pages Minor response to "Softest of Tongues"Change is an inevitable part of our lives and sometimes accepting that change can be difficult. In the poem "Softest of Tongue" poet Vladir Nabokov expresses the burden of accepting change and saying goodbye to the past. Nabokov writes of a character that goes through the process of change, by identifying the problem, accepting the decision for change and then starting a new beginning. However the character

Other Authors To Be Included in the Current Curriculum

2366 words - 9 pages Proust with his In Search for Lost Time have made it considerably difficult to single out Vladimir Nabokov as the author that I think should be studied on our module. Not only are his novels remarkable, but also his relationship to language and even his life are so fascinating to the point I think Lolita should be on everybody’s bookshelf. Even the fact that two great filmmakers, namely Stanley Kubrick and Adrian Lyne, have attempted to capture the

Should the Reader Forgive Humbert?

2453 words - 10 pages ) Nabokov, Vladimir, The Annoteted Lolita, notes Alfred Appel Jr., (New York: First Vintage Books. 1991) Neufeldt, Victoria, Webster's New World Dictionary (New York: Simon, 1990), p. 380 Oxford English Dictionary, 1996, query=forgivenes Unger, Merrill F., Unger's Bible Dictionary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1970), p. 377 Vladimir Nabokov, rev. of Lolita, by Charles Rolo, The Atlantic Monthly, Sept. 1958

Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita

642 words - 3 pages whether he is really a plausible romantic figure in her teeny-bopper world. Throughout this novel, we see that Humbert’s love for Lolita sends him on many painful paths. Her feelings for him wasn’t as deep as his feelings for her. This novel goes to show that love works in mystical ways. Work Cited Nabokov, Vladimir. Lolita. New York: Random House, Vintage International Edition, 1989. Original copyright, 1955.

Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita - The Shocking Lolita

2106 words - 8 pages The Shocking Lolita        Vladimir Nabokov wrote Lolita not only to create controversy and shock the public, but also for money and fame. Nabokov wrote Lolita to get attention. This novel engages moral dilemmas that are sensitive to its readers. The sensitive subject matter created such a controversy that it perpetuated sales and made it a bestseller, and he knew that if he wrote a book shocking and personal enough he would become

Power of Diction: Vladimir Nabokov

1475 words - 6 pages , readers cannot hold him at a far enough distance to see him for the man he truly is. Works Cited Moore, Anthony R. "How Unreliable Is Humbert In Lolita ?." Journal Of Modern Literature 25.1 (2001): 71. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich. Lolita. New York: Knopf, 1992. Print.

The Face of Evil

1599 words - 6 pages coffee. As we humbly usher our children out the door for school in the morning, we read in the paper that a local woman was raped and murdered. We watch on television as a crazed gunman tries to outrun the police and begins shooting at people. We have become accustomed to these events because we do not put a face on the people that commit these crimes. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov is a novel that puts a face on a man who commits crimes against

Dreaming with Lolita

1720 words - 7 pages Dreaming with Lolita What world are you living in? Over the past hundreds of years psychologists have been studying the functions of the human mind. It is a task that seems to prolong as information and new methods arrive. What makes us dream or imagine things? The fact that we have dreams and ambitions in life strives us to believe through imagining and dreaming that we will eventually get a break in life. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov, is a

Similar Essays

Lolita By Vladimir Nabokov Essay

1502 words - 6 pages In Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita, Nabokov elects to ignore the societal need to establish a clear ethical dichotomy when dealing with crimes such as pedophilia. Nabokov instead writes main character Humbert Humbert as a man rich in humor and individuality. His behavior evades negative connotation and conveys absolute sincerity. He doesn’t acknowledge the interwoven perversity within his actions towards Dolores Haze because he does not identify

Modernism And Postmodernism Fragment Analysis On "Lolita" By Vladimir Nabokov

733 words - 3 pages nymphet , are all features of modernism.The word play - nymphet - from nymph - is a trait of postmodernism, as well as the fact that with this novel, Nabokov is not only experimenting with a new theme but also reaches the limit of decency and originality.From the perspective of postmodernism, Humbert is an extreme character, marginalized by the society.His attempts to explain, sometimes desperate, his behavior and attitudes towards children is a

Lolita By Vladimir Nabokov Essay

2158 words - 9 pages interior depiction of human activity, symbolism is generally seen as the opposite of Naturalism. However, the major plays of naturalistic canon are structured around symbols, and their central importance is demonstrated by the frequency with which these controlling symbols appear in the titles." (C D Innes, p. 25) It is the imagery presented in the intertextuality gives the reader an insight into the conflicts that plague the characters of the play

Case # Q32888; Investigation: Clare Quilty Murder "Statement Of Dolores (Haze) Schiller" Essay Based On: Lolita, By Vladimir Nabokov

4145 words - 17 pages ?" "I don't understand, what crime, and why does there have to be a doctor here? I thought that I was here just to verify that my stepfather was at my house a few days ago, and to attest to his state of mind." Then, looking confused, she inquired, "Isn't that what you told my on the phone, Captain? And what do you mean by 'complicated history'?" "Mrs. Schiller, let me help here," the doctor spoke. "I am here for you. The fact that you are