Is Lolita a Love Story or Pornography?

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  • Topic: Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, Novel
  • Pages : 8 (3043 words )
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  • Published : March 19, 2008
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Is Lolita a Love story or pornography? Is it Moral or Immoral?

Lolita, the dramatic story of the main character, Humbert Humbert and the twelve and a half year old Lolita is the most controversial and greatest masterpiece created by the Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov. Lolita is a full-blown psychological novel, a detective novel, a confessional novel, a Doppelgänger Tale, an extended allegory for artistic process a sexual myth, more complicated and mysterious than comparable to Freudian stereotypes, even a fable with correspondence to the little red riding hood story. Nabokov possesses the power to enchant the reader with an enormous variety of beautiful language and structure. By creating word plays he enables H.H. to convince the reader to sympathise with him by referring to him as a romantic poet in reality he exploits and sexually abuses Lolita. The first part of this essay deals with the first chapter of Lolita in depth analysing Humbert's language and its effect on the reader.

Nabokov uses language as a device to portray Humbert's thoughts and emotions and to develop him subtly as the major character, established in this first passage. The tone of Humbert Humbert who is the narrator throughout the novel is very gentle to begin with, E g. "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins." This metaphor established the idea that H.H. is a romantic poet. As well as the phrase; "My sin, my soul." Further using the literary device of metaphors, importantly this institutes him as the tragic hero from the beginning g onwards and not as a pervert. His language contains a lot of literary devices such as metaphors, imagery and alliterations, E.g. "Tip of the tongue taking a trip…", creating images in the readers mind. It allows the reader to view the scene through Humbert's eyes, being dragged into the story and like a critic describes, he makes us his accomplice." The perhaps most obvious point which can be made about Humbert is his obsession with the young juvenile girl. This can be shown by the two quotations stated above in which Humbert's love for Lolita seems almost unrealistic with passion. He announces the inexperienced and innocent girl as the reason for living. Humbert is desperately in love with his nymphet showing his love in an extremely possessive way. His obsession is shown through him pinning the young girl down to prevent her from growing. An example for this is his jealousy towards her male friends and the fact that he rapes her several times and locks her up. Humbert effectively uses Freudian analysis of the early death of his parents and especially the death of the one girl he truly loved "In a princedom by the sea", to excuse his perversion. Reasons for his obsession to possess and use her whenever he wished are the fear of losing someone. Of course this is ironically mocking Freud and the reader, as Nabokov detested Freud's theories of Developmental Psychology and the name Annabel Leigh derives from a poem, suggesting that the character may not have existed in Humbert's story. The most important reason however, is the fact that Humbert hates to see Lolita grow into a woman. A symbol for this is the constant travelling they go through during most of the novel, it is an example of how H.H. wants to stop time and prevent anything else to come between the two "lovers". H.H. tries to pin down the elflike nymphet like; Nabokov kills and pins down his butterflies with the need to possess the precious, beautiful subject. H.H. loves Lolita but in a sick and selfish way and he does not love her enough to grant her the freedom of her childhood or of growing healthily mentally and physically. The narrator presents this in his language. He always refers to Lolita as a subject belonging to him or being part of him: "My sin, my soul." and "…there might have not been a Lolita, had I not loved one summer a certain initial girl-child…" by which he questions the existence of Lolita in reference...
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