Lolita: Plot Overview

Topics: Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, Clare Quilty Pages: 3 (1068 words) Published: March 17, 2011
Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, first written in English and published in 1955 in Paris and 1958 in New York, and later translated by the author into Russian. The book is internationally famous for its innovative style and infamous for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, middle-aged Humbert Humbert, who becomes obsessed and sexually involved with a 12-year-old girl named Dolores Haze.

After its publication, Nabokov's Lolita attained a classic status, becoming one of the best-known and most controversial examples of 20th century literature. The name "Lolita" has entered pop culture to describe a sexually precocious girl. The novel was adapted to film by Stanley Kubrick in 1962, and again in 1997 by Adrian Lyne.

Lolita is included on Time's list of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. It is fourth on the Modern Library's 1998 list of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th century.

[edit] Plot summaryLolita is divided into two parts and 69 chapters.[1] It is narrated by Humbert Humbert, a literary scholar born in 1910 to a Swiss father and an English mother in Paris, who is obsessed with young girls, whom he refers to as "nymphets". Humbert suggests that this obsession results from the death of a childhood sweetheart, Annabel Leigh. After an unsuccessful marriage to Valeria, Humbert moves to Ramsdale in 1947, a small New England town, to write. He rents a room in the house of Charlotte Haze, a widow. While Charlotte tours him around the house, he meets her 12-year-old daughter, Dolores (also known as Dolly, Lolita, Lola, Lo and L), with whom he immediately becomes infatuated. Humbert stays at the house only to remain near her. While he is obsessed with Lolita, he disdains her crassness and preoccupation with contemporary American popular culture, such as teen movies and comic books.

While Lolita is away at summer camp, Charlotte, who has fallen in love with Humbert, tells him that he must either marry...
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