Censorship In Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita

Topics: Sexual intercourse, Child sexual abuse / Pages: 6 (1473 words) / Published: Feb 1st, 2017
When asked about obscenity and obscene material, a menagerie of ideas come to mind. A typical person will think of pornography, extreme violence, or something else when asked to come up with an obscene material. However, if asked if a novel reviewed as “The only convincing love story of our century” was obscene, it would be very rare for somebody to say yes. However, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is incredibly obscene. The novel is a pedohile’s memoir that explicitly details his illegal sexual escapades with his underage “love”. The book provides incredibly visceral details relating to Humbert Humbert’s carnal desires, as well as describes almost too well his interactions with Lolita herself. Overall, Nabokov’s Lolita is incredibly obscene, mainly …show more content…
In a way, Nabokov also makes it seem like Lolita has an orgasm herself by describing her innocent behavior in a sexual way. She cries out, helplessly squirms, throws her head back and bites her lip. In American society, that is seen as a blatantly sexual gesture. Although Nabokov would argue that this scene is necessary to advance the plot, the meticulous care in which Nabokov constructs these descriptions only serves to produce sexual excitement. By giving so much care to painfully describe how this pedophile secretly used this underage girl to reach orgasm, Nabokov attempts to disguise this act of pornography as a sympathetic plot device attempting to absolve some of Humbert’s wrongdoing. This novel’s obscenity would be tolerable if Humberts and Lolita’s relationship remained how it was the first time they experienced sexuality together. However, their tumultuous relationship was doomed from the start. Their blossoming “love”, as Humbert calls it, only degrades over time, resulting in the increased presence of arguments and altercations. There are continuous references by Lolita of previous sexual experiences that were either unexpected, unwarranted, or both. We even eventually begin seeing these experiences the same way through Humbert’s

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