Use Of Language The Sexual And Textual

1395 words - 6 pages

The most obvious feature of Lolita, and the main reason for its staying power, is Humbert Humbert's striking, complex, and enchanting prose. Humbert diverts the reader from his ugly actions, as a pedophile, with his pretty words. He goes beyond ordinary prettiness; his constant wordplay and verbal games force the reader to concentrate on language rather than on him. With his ability of enchanting words and wordplay, he develops the ability to freeze time and in turn freeze Lolita in her “nymphet” state. When Humbert describes Lolita playing tennis in minute detail, he succeeds in locking her into endless nymphet state. Every time he revisits her through prose, he is able to maintain that nymphet state his memory. Humbert writes Lolita in a prison cell as evidence in his defense; on trial for the murder of Clare Quilty, a famous dramatist. Humbert occasionally addresses the reader as "ladies and gentlemen of the jury" or some sarcastic equivalent, and this reminds us of the basic situation. His confession quickly reveals a different crime: that for many years he had manipulated and sexually abused a young girl, Dolores Haze, "Lolita”. Claiming he murdered Clare Quilty in revenge for seducing his child lover away from him. As he finishes the manuscript, he decides to withhold it until both he and Lolita are dead, claiming to know that he may be imprisoned by this lack of evidence. However, he dies of heart failure before the trial begins. Humbert refers to himself as a beast, he expresses sadness or humiliation at his own acts, scorns his own stupidity, and he seems bluntly honest as he confesses his seductions, lies, schemes, and act of murder. But he doesn't much talk about the murder. He is consumed by his sexual attraction Lolita. Even more so, he speaks of her as 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 back to his childhood love, “there was my Riviera love peering at me over ddark glasses….it was the same child – the same frail, honey-hued shoulders, the same silky supple bare back, the same chestnut head of hair…” (39). He uses his words to relive and revive his adolescent love of Annabel. HH objectifies Lolita by focusing on the nymphet assets he finds so exciting though he rarely addresses her inner mind or feelings. He notes her bad moods and bad manners, Humbert nevertheless remains convinced of Lolita’s connection to Annabel, adolescent romance from his younger years. The connection is important to Humbert and Humbert alone; this strengthens his belief that only a man like himself could truly understand the rareness of a nymphet...

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