Lolita Literary Criticism

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Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator. Through the years since the book was published there has been an emencice amount of controversy on the actual contents of the book, but when applying the psychoanalytic literary lens an entirely different understanding of the text is presented. Through an abstract point of view, an intense inner conflict in the narrator, and an unusual definition of beauty, the text evokes an intense emotional response from readers that can not be expected from the initial perspective of the book.
The point of view of Lolita is not unusual, what causes the emotional response is in fact who the narrator is. Humbert Humbert, the narrator, is a murdering pedophile, this perspective can initially be disturbing and even stopped a lot of potential readers from actually reading the book. In the article “Romantic parody and the ironic muse in 'Lolita.'” Brian Walter addresses how the author manipulated readers views on an admittedly criminal character. Walter claims that “If the romantic parody criticizes Humbert, it flatters him as well, to the point that, in Trilling's terms, "we find ourselves the more shocked when we realize that, in the course of reading the novel, we have come virtually to condone the violation it presents" (331).” Walter uses a quote from Trilling’s "The Last Lover." to defend his claim that readers do end up feeling a sense of sympathy towards a character that forms a
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