Sex, Pornography, And Lolita Essay

2959 words - 12 pages

Sex is an integral part of society, it permeates the life of every person. In many cases it defines how we act and feel. However, when sex becomes the topic of conversation the conversation becomes uncomfortable and is considered taboo. In this case what taboo means is that the topic, sex, is not up for discussion for fear of social backlash. During the twentieth century, this backlash was often ostracization and shaming. These punishments are not befitting of a topic like sex, sex deserves to be discussed openly and in full view of society as both a medium of expression and an acceptable topic of conversation. Sex does not deserve to be censored or relegated to a dark corner because it should never be talked about in public. Sex provides a medium through which the true desires and indeed the true nature of a person can be expressed and examined. Meaning that an author is able to more freely express himself/herself through sex than any other topic.
Poetry, after thorough examination and explication, is often found used by the author as a way to express emotions or to provide social commentary. The poet May Swenson, in her poem “In Love Made Visible” uses her poetry as a medium to discuss homosexuality and love. Swenson, a lesbian and Mormon, was repressed by those in her community. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) also known as the Mormon Church, was not accepting of homosexuals during the 20th century when Swenson was alive. At the time, the LDS believed that homosexuality was immoral, and excommunicated many who were believed to be homosexual from the church; if Swenson was found out to be homosexual she could have lost all of her friends, and those she called her community. This would have been devastating to Swenson, as it would have been for almost anybody. This fear is most likely what prompted Swenson to use metaphor to hide her true intentions when talking about homosexuality, “We are released/and flow into each other's cup/Our two frail vials pierced/drink each other up” (Swenson 25-8). These lines are generally believed to describe the act of scissoring, a form of lesbian sex that is similar to tribadism. By covering her true meaning, Swenson was able to avoid the prying eyes of those in her community while also conveying her feelings on sex, specifically homosexual sex. Swenson is a prime example of the repression of sex, even before homosexuality is added to the equation the expression of sex was often seen as obscene or smut. When an object was labeled as smut or obscene there were and still are groups that would go to court to get that object banned.
Swenson provides an interesting viewpoint in the realm of sex, on the one hand she was homosexual, and on the other she was a Mormon, these two would seem to repel each other like magnets yet Swenson seemed able to make them work. This coexistence is a good example of how sex (and in this case sexuality) is able to exist and be accepted in the popular world. The...

Find Another Essay On Sex, Pornography, and Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov’s Controversial Novel Lolita Essay

2795 words - 11 pages mention of even experimental human cloning (not sex) is considered off limits. ?Incest?is the last, or the first taboo of human culture.? (Bowlby 156). Lolita did survive its critics though, because the book offers more than a picture of incest, pedophilia, and rape; the aesthetic literary value supersedes predisposed taboos, and presents to the reader with beauty not pornography.The beauty is in the ability of Nabokov to turn a cynical plot, with

Should the Reader Forgive Humbert? Essay

2453 words - 10 pages referred to as a statutory rape because Humbert is having sex with Lolita who is under the age of consent. Humbert also figuratively rapes Lolita of her childhood and a normal teenage life. This decision to forgive Humbert will rely upon Humbert's words as he realizes what he has done to Lolita. In order for the reader to be able to forgive Humbert he must determine if Humbert is truly sorry for his actions. One must overlook the fact that

Use of Language the Sexual and Textual

1088 words - 5 pages admits that he was mainly concerned with keeping the affair secret and keeping Lolita happy enough to have sex with him. He states that he is very happy, but Lolita continually hurts him with her unresponsiveness and her desire to meet other people. Humbert has now crossed over into a world without any internal or external moral boundaries. Humbert remains outside society’s regulations and manages to convince most people that he is merely an

Use of Language the sexual and textual

1395 words - 6 pages the great love of his life and the meaning of his whole existence. We do not judge a murder, but a story of love and pedophilia. We are invited to read a document revealing the guilt of a sex pervert, offered as evidence to excuse a murderer, in a trial that will never happen because everyone — Humbert, Quilty, and even Lolita — is dead. In the early stages of this novel, when Humbert Humbert first sees Lolita in the grass he is instantly taken

Lolita

3129 words - 13 pages explicit erotic emotion or some overt erotic action and still it is not about sex. It is about love. This makes it unique in my experience of contemporary novels” (19). (Green 43) During my research, I found Trilling’s argument as well but didn’t really know what to do with it, but the way that Green lays it out for you, makes it more understanding. I truly agree with what Trilling is trying to get across to his readers and that’s that Lolita

Lolita

4860 words - 19 pages critical discourse on the subject is emphatically unsympathetic to the accusations of pornography and monstrosity that the novel received upon its first publication. However, in the classroom this shift has not occurred. Classroom discussions tend to be highly volatile concerning Lolita. In one of my two experiences with this phenomenon, a fellow student became distraught over what she considered to be the “rape” of a Delores (Lolita), and she

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

Pornography, Should It Be Illegal Or Not?

1058 words - 5 pages potential sex crime offenders, provides pleasure for people who are unable to find sexual fulfillment, helps society be more open about the topic of sex, and aids in helping couples deal with problems in their sexual relationships.a. assumption #1Pornography can aid as a sexual outlet for potential sex crime offenders. Many people have sexual fetishes that would go unfulfilled if pornography became illegal. Some may act on their sexual fetishes and

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 the captivation of his readers, entangling and convincing them into buying his version of the confession. Humbert's deliberately uses specific words to emphasize his innocence in the first sex scenes of the confession. When Humbert masturbates in front of Lolita, he uses words like “impudent child” and “masked lust to her guileless limbs” (Nabokov 58). This scene could have been really gross and more obvious, yet he chose words like “I performed

The Power of Art

1303 words - 6 pages “And now take down the following important remark: the artist in me has been given the upper hand over the gentleman” (71). What does Lolita have to say about the morality of art? The most prominent feature of Lolita is its use of harmonizing language throughout the entire novel. Humbert Humbert's stunning, intricate, and appealing prose is what makes Lolita so remarkable. Nabokov does not hesitate to show off his linguistic abilities

Similar Essays

Violence And Pornography, Pornography Sex Or Subordination?

4274 words - 17 pages sexually violent images in the media and subsequent aggression and . . . callous attitudes towards women is much stonger statistically than the relationship between smoking and cancery (Itzin 22). After considering the increase in rape and molestation, sexual harassment, and other sex crimes over the last few decades, and also the corresponding increase of business in the pornography industry, the link between violence and pornogrpahy needs

Violence And Pornography, Pornography Sex Or Subordination?

3761 words - 15 pages forces sex on her.7. Women who get raped while hitchhiking getwhat they deserve.8. Many women have an unconscious wish to beraPauline Bart reports that studies held simultaneouslyat UCLA and St. Xavier College on students, demonstratethat pornography does positively reinforce the rape myth.Men and women were exposed to over four hours of exoticvideo (of varying types; i.e. soft, hard core, etc.) andthen asked to answer a set of questions meant to

History Of Pornography And Safe Sex

3641 words - 15 pages History of Pornography and Safe SexSince the dawn of time, man has engaged in unprotected sex, whether it was for fun or to breed. Long before the invention of the camera the Porn industry flourished, from strip clubs to brothels, there was always a demand for sex. But, with the coming of age of the camera, the industry was able to reach a wider audience, people wanted to watch sexual activity from the comfort of their own home. Times were

Lolita Essay

1942 words - 8 pages Century. "Like most famous literary books, Lolita seduced the world for the wrong reasons. It was thought to be dirty...it won its first passionate proponents by being banned." (Jong). Lolita was called pornography by critics who hadn't even read the book. During its time, Lolita was " a genuinely new creation and genuinely new creations do not usually fare well...American Puritanism is more comfortable with sex when it stays in the gutter than when