Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

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In Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita, Nabokov elects to ignore the societal need to establish a clear ethical dichotomy when dealing with crimes such as pedophilia. Nabokov instead writes main character Humbert Humbert as a man rich in humor and individuality. His behavior evades negative connotation and conveys absolute sincerity. He doesn’t acknowledge the interwoven perversity within his actions towards Dolores Haze because he does not identify with it. Humbert’s genuineness contrasts with the overwhelming social criticism towards pedophilia. The contradistinction leaves the reader searching for Humbert’s moral resolve in the form of regret or a righteous conscience; however, the reader is only met with a vast ethical grey area as Humbert manipulates the reader’s understanding of the truth by embodying solipsism. Both Humbert and Nabokov challenge the early 20th century Freudian psychoanalysis that had cemented popularity and acclaim during the initial publication of Lolita in 1955. They use memoir style novel, Lolita, as a platform to question established psychiatric thought and utilize dismissive insults and veiled parodies to express the inadequacy of a defined psychiatric and ethical dichotomy. Nabokov had no qualms with speaking ill of Freud and his psychoanalytic theories. Nabokov disliked the Freud’s school of psychology that incorporated the study of unconscious elements in the conscious mind and dream interpretation. When asked why he so openly detests Freud, he responded: Freudianism and all it has tainted with its grotesque implications and methods appears to me to be one of the vilest deceits practiced by people on themselves and on others. I reject it utterly, along with a few other medieval items still adored by the... ... middle of paper ... ...n dishonesty and manipulation. Humbert is now creating vivid dreams to be deconstructed solely for his amusement and openly mocking Freud. “Primal scenes” was a term coined by Freud during the early 20th century that is used to describe a child’s first exposure to sexual acts. Humbert is concocting primal scenes and allowing psychiatrists to dispense meretricious worth to them. The establishment of Freudian dichotomy has created an individual externally and internally stripped of humanity and left only with the attributes of a demonized man. Works Cited Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich. Lolita. New York: Knopf :, 1992. Print. Strong Opinions. New York: Vintage International, 1973 "Why Nabokov Detests Freud." New York Times. National Educational Television Network, 30 Jan. 1966. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. .

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