Symbolism is the “representation of a concept through symbols or underlying meanings of objects or qualities” (Dictionary.com) and Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is saturated with underlying concepts and ideas. One of the more obscure symbols used through out Lolita is the life and death of the chestnut tree, and how Nabokov “uses the tree as a symbol of death and extinction” (McCauley). After first meeting Lolita, Humbert informs the reader that she has “the same chestnut hair as Annabel” (Nabokov), which is one of the main reasons Humbert is so infatuated with the young girl. By 1946 almost every American chestnut had fallen victim to a deadly disease, and by comparing Lolita to the chestnut tree Humbert unknowingly predicts her untimely death. Humbert and Lolita also follow the exact path of the disease that killed the trees when they head west from the Appalachians. While on their first trip across America the two stay in a cabin at Chestnut Court and Humbert says the road to the cabin runs “as straight as a hair parting between two rows of chestnut trees" (Nabokov). The chestnut tree and its death represent Humbert and Lolita’s imminent doom,... [continues]
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(2011, 03). Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita". StudyMode.com. Retrieved 03, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Vladimir-Nabokov-s-Lolita-636101.html
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