This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita Essay

642 words - 3 pages

Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita

Love, what is it? Love is a powerful feeling that is expressed in many ways throughout our society between men and women. Sometimes powerful feelings can have a negative ending, such as the ending in the novel Lolita.

The affair, Humbert argues, was made possible because he resembled a movie star to Lolita, and ends when Quilty offers her a chance at Hollywood, something Humbert cannot do. Lolita is perceived by the adults in her life--Humbert, Charlotte, and Quilty--as a star. The novel's consistent invocation of filmic metaphors to describe Lolita invites us to read her as a literary version of Hollywood's child star. Her career is as short-lived as the average child star's: as first Humbert's lover and then Quilty's whore, Lolita's career spans roughly four to five years. Humbert scrupulously remarks throughout the confession that he is working with the wrong medium. He is convinced, and he obviously wants his reader to become so, that Lolita could be forever his, that his seduction would be a complete achievement.

Recognizing that "Lolita will not forever be Lolita", Humbert uses film as a proleptic defense against losing her to those witnesses who would attempt to reformulate her. Since film works only as fantasy, however, Humbert risks losing control over the definition of his art to a series of doubles with whom he competes, such as the playwright and pornographer Clare Quilty, who takes advantage of Humbert's initial foresight, using it as a stepping stone to the next limit and leaving Humbert in the dark.

Humbert Humbert's use of cinematic metaphors makes explicit what is at stake, in Lolita's representation of pedophilia and incest, namely, control over the means of visual representation and male adult memories of childhood sexual desire. What marks Lolita as a desirable nymphet for Humbert is the way she can be remembered through implicitly filmic terms. At the start of his confession, Humbert provides his reader...

Find Another Essay On Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita

Should the Reader Forgive Humbert? Essay

2453 words - 10 pages Vladimir Nabokov has written, Lolita has no moral in tow. (314). Nabokov has obviously anticipated the reader's response to his novel and so he discloses that he sees no moral value in the book. This is obviously a false statement that is used to complicate the book and make the reader think. Lolita is full of moral choices and situations that learned readers will recognize and make judgments on. Most readers have a conscience and thus look for the

The Face of Evil Essay

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

Cinematic Techniques in Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark

2427 words - 10 pages Cinematic Techniques in Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark   Vladimir Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark takes the movies for its style as well as its subject matter. In recounting the farcical tragedy of director Albinus and starlet Margot, Nabokov imports a wide variety of techniques and imagery from the cinema into the novel. But Nabokov's "cinematic" style is not analagous to that of a screenplay: the polished prose is always tinged with

Lolita (chapter 18)

1154 words - 5 pages This section of the book Lolita depicts the nuptials between Humbert and Charlotte, and it allows the reader to get inside Humbert's head to discover - as if readers didn't already know - the real strategy behind this wedding. He is cunning, and ruthless in his ruse. But it's fascinating.At the outset it is worth reviewing briefly the style of Nabokov's work, because it creates a wonderland of mental images for the alert reader (and even for the

Lolita

3129 words - 13 pages 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

Modernism and Postmodernism - fragment analysis on "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov

733 words - 3 pages will take his ideas and understand them.Pedophilia is not necessarily an act of sex with Humbert; he sees the girl-child as a third sex, not man, not woman, but above.With Nabokov's novel, there is an attempt to discover and relate the inside of a man that is different ( from the point of view of the society rules), to romanticize that man and the bond between him and a "nymphet".Works Cited:Nabokov , Vladimir, Lolita, , New York, Berkley Books, 1983http://www.hku.hk/english/courses2000/7006/week1.htmwww. Answers.com - a literary encyclopedia

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages Introduction: Chemical equilibrium is a crucial topic in Chemistry. To represent and model equilibrium, the thermodynamic concept of Free energy is usually used. For a multi-component system the Gibbs free energy is a function of Pressure, Temperature and quantity (mass, moles) of each component. If one of these parameters is changed, a state change to a more energetically favorable state will occur. This state has the lowest free energy

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art

Enlightenment Thought in New Zealand Schools

1594 words - 6 pages In this essay I will be looking at how the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment have shaped New Zealand Education. I will also be discussing the perennial tension of local control versus central control of education, and how this has been affected by the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment. The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which beginnings of were marked by the Glorious Revolution in Britain

Similar Essays

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

The Unreliable Narrator In Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita

2571 words - 10 pages Lolita." Nabokov: Criticism, reminiscences, translations and tributes. Ed. by Alfred Appel, Jr. and Charles Newman. A TriQuaterly book. Evanston: Northwestern University press, 1970. 17-40. Bick, Ilsa J. "'That Hurts!': Humor and Sadomasochism in Lolita." Journal of Film and Video 46.2 (1994): 3-18. Bloom, Harold, ed. Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. Modern Critical Interpretations. New York: Chelsea House, 1987. Boyd, Brian. Vladimir

Obsession In Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita Essay

2471 words - 10 pages fateful way Lolita began with Annabel." (Nabokov, pg. 14). It is interesting to consider here Nabokov's elevation of obsession into art. How does Nabokov introduce a novel, rich with ideas of desire, obsession, and pedophilia, and turn it into a work of art? Why would he want to elevate it into a work of art? It may help to consider Nabokov's justification of writing the novel. In his "On a Book Entitled Lolita", he says that he wrote it in order

Modernism And Postmodernism In Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita"

650 words - 3 pages passion, the deep self analysis as well as the analysis of Lolita from the point of view of a 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