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Nabokov's Use Of Language In Lolita

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Nabokov admired words and was a true believe in the fact that the proper use of language can heighten any piece of writing to represent a true masterpiece. In Lolita, Nabokov’s use of language in Lolita seems to over power the actual content and story being told, giving the story more beauty and praised than it should have based on what is being written about. Lolita covers many taboo’s written in beautiful pros such as rape, murder, pedophilia, and incest, but yet the novel is still considered to be a work of art because of the way the story is presented. “Humbert Humbert, in telling his story, uses puns, literary allusions, and repeating linguistic patterns to render this dark tale in an enchanting form.” Humbert successfully seduces his…show more content…
Though Nabokov explicitly stated that this is not a novel of a jaded European seducing an innocent American or a shallow American seducing an elegant European, the contrast between the two cultures is highlighted prominently throughout the book.” The obvious difference between Humbert and Mrs. Haze represents the dissimilarity between the “old, sophisticated, decadent world Europe and the artificial, pretentious world of the United States.” Charlotte Haze wanted nothing more than to be the type of woman that Humbert yearned after, and could appreciate which is a “worldly, elegant, refined woman who appreciates finer things”, but her house portrays a different image of her. It’s filled with modern furniture, cheap art, and it’s rather messy. Charlotte Haze isn’t the only American woman who is charmed by, Humbert’s European manner and “old-world aesthetics”, but rather he has a few other suitors, all of whom he has turned away.

Oddly enough this sexual conflict between America and Europe will be soon overturned during the journey of Humbert and Lolita’s rather troubling relationship when we see that Humbert has fallen victim to Lolita’s nymphetic spell and her rather “vulgar American sensibilities”. Though Humbert tries his best to further educate and refine Lolita he always seems to fail. Nonetheless these same qualities that Humbert attempts
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Charlotte Haze, who is an American, is attracted to the “sophistication and worldliness” of Humbert, who is a European. She fervently consents to Humbert not because of who he truly is but because of what he represents and what his background means to her, and how she can glamorize him and their relationship. Humbert has no admiration for Charlotte at all, nothing about her does he find attractive. He ridicules the shallowness and brevity of American culture, and thinks nothing more of Charlotte than the fact that she is a simple-minded housewife. Nevertheless, he admires all of Lolita’s vulgarities and journals every aspect of his tour of “America”, and he enjoys the opportunities for freedom along the open American road.
“[Humbert] eventually admits that he has defiled the country rather than the other way around. Though Humbert and Lolita develop their own version of peace as they travel together, their union is clearly not based on understanding or acceptance. Lolita cannot comprehend the depth of Humbert’s devotion, which he overtly links to art, history, and culture, and Humbert will never truly recognize Lolita’s unwillingness to let him sophisticate her.”
In the end we see that Lolita leaves European Humbert for the American Quilty, who excites her and does not bore her with “high culture or grand
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