A Postmodern Cultural Perspective in Lolita and A Streetcar Named Desire

A Postmodern Cultural Perspective in Lolita and A Streetcar Named Desire

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A Postmodern Cultural Perspective in Lolita and A Streetcar Named Desire

Postmodernism has emerged as a reaction to modernism thoughts and "well-established modernist systems". (Wikipedia, 2005) Specific to Nabokov's Lolita and Williams' Streetcar Named Desire is the idea that both of the novels are written under the view of postmodernism as a cultural movement and that they are broadly defined as the condition of Western society especially after World War II (period in which the novel were written; 1947 for Streetcar and 1955 for Lolita).

While modernists viewed people as autonomous (capable of independent rational thought), postmodernists see human identity and thinking as the product of culture. (Xenos Christian Fellowship, 2005). The postmodern main assumption here is that culture and society create individuals as well as all their thoughts and attitudes. Lolita and A Streetcar Named Desire both treat of Cultural Relativism, which is the view that each culture has it's own truths that are relevant to them, but not relevant to other cultures. (Wikipedia, 2005)
Economic changes, immigration, capitalism expansion, development of mass and popular culture, which result of the post-war period will also play a great role in defining cultural perspectives in Nabokov and Williams' stories and characters but also in defining the American culture itself. The main characters serve as archetypes of different cultures and symbolizes the integration of Europe in the the Un...


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...umbert's European ear also revises American idiom when he talk about his "west-door neighbor." (Lolita, p. 179)

To conclude, both stories have a strong cultural orientation, which result from the post World War II environment, in which a crassly materialistic and insensitive industrial society followed. The postmodern assumption that human identity and thinking are the product of culture and that culture and society create individuals as well as all their thoughts and attitudes (Xenos Christian Fellowship, 2005), is clearly demonstrated by Lolita's consumerist ideals and Blanche's collapse in the new southern culture.

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