Nabokov Use Of Symbolism In Lolita

Decent Essays
The novel Lolita exposes the pedophilia and perversion in the text; however, the child pornography invoked is very similar to the abrasive ads, commercials, and images viewed in America. It seems sanctimonious that such a controversial novel because of the pedophilia, does not take into account objectifying young girls. Integrity is not the concern in Lolita; a novel that represents the exploitation towards the young girls is. While Humbert is a perverse and gruesome man that has pedophiliac desires, Lolita’s use of language, form, and contextual writing sends a message towards the extortion of young girls. To be more specific, in the article, Lolita speaks: ‘Sexting,’ teenage girls and the law mentions how Karaian considers Lolita to symbolize…show more content…
The use of mythology in the novel controls the story by deliberately characterizing Humbert and Lolita as Adam and Eve. Humbert cannot control his physical attraction towards Lolita nor his desire. Nabokov use of symbolisms of apples and the forbidden expresses the sin and immoral action. Humbert describes her attire as inappropriate for church, yet, “his heart beats like a drum when he sat next to her” and he projects an innocent almost childlike behavior by taking her delicious “apple” away when she tossed it up (Lolita 58). Even more, Nabokov subverts the predilection of the American girl into an “American nymph” and the adaptation of a mythical figure weakens the severity of the tragedy or the degree of harm Humbert has committed with Lolita. He fantasizes towards her and his desires are an imaginary illusion “what I had madly possessed was not she, but my own creation, another, fanciful Lolita—perhaps, more real than Lolita; overlapping, encasing her; floating between me and her, and having no will, no consciousness— indeed no life of her own” (Nabokov 62). Humbert expresses Lolita to nymphet thighs delineating Lolita from a human and diminishing the sexual act because it is her who seduces…show more content…
Nabokov commences the novel by creating this fictitious character, John Ray Jr. in Lolita’s foreword. Michael Wood in “Knowing Lolita” discusses the “Ethical impact, of course, is what Nabokov endlessly denied that he was seeking, and John Ray, Jr. stands for all the idiots readers and critics who are benighted enough to think that such stuff matters in literature” (17). The novel captivates the reader by creating alliteration, anagrams, idiomatic, French phrases, prose style, traps, and hoax with poetic attributes. Comparatively, Nabokov utilizes and reference Edgar Allen Poe, the American writer and literary critic who married his 13-year-old cousin very similar to Nabokov with his 12-year-old stepdaughter. In the article, Wood goes as far as claiming, “Humbert idealizes the dream of the America’s shallow, mass-managed culture” Nabokov’s stylistic pandemonium really appears when Humbert defines Lolita as “a disgusting conventional little girl.” She is the ideal consumer to whom ads were dedicated” (24). Lolita is locked and closed from the realm of society, innocence, and
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