The Deceptive Veil of Language in Lolita
Morally ambiguous characters characters whose behavior discourages readers from identifying them as purely evil or purely good are at the heart of many works of literature. Chose a novel or play in which a morally ambiguous character plays a pivotal role. Then write an essay in which you explain how the character can be viewed as a morally ambiguous and why his or her moral ambiguity is significant to the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary. Lolita is written from the perspective of a man named Humbert Humbert, who had been locked in a jail cell at the time the book was written. He uses beautiful and intellectual language to recall his past and his love life with Lolita. Humbert was put on trial for rape and murder, but his use of language persuades the reader into believing that he is not an essentially evil man as he distracts the reader with his words from his horrible actions and decisions.
Humbert first describes to his readers his thirteen year old love, who died before they were able to consummate their love and due to this he had developed an obsession for girls whose ages ranged from nine to fourteen years old, who he refers to as nymphets. While living with this obsession since he was a teenager, he tried numerous times to cure himself of his pedophillic ways, including marrying a woman his own age, but is unsuccessful. Humbert wanted to be like everyone else and was exhausted of only desiring nymphets who he could not have. However, he never impulsively acted on his desire for young girls against ones will.
“.. That little girl with her seaside limbs and ardent tongue haunted me ever since until at last, twentyfour years later, I broke her spell by incarnating her in another” (15). The girl that was able to break the spell of Annabelle, his childhood love, was Lolita. Some would refer to
Humbert as a “sympathetic pedophile”. This is when Hymbert’s intentions mix between what is morally seen as evil and what