Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita - The Shocking Lolita Essay examples

Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita - The Shocking Lolita Essay examples

Length: 1939 words (5.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Shocking Lolita

 
     Vladimir Nabokov wrote Lolita not only to create controversy and shock the public, but also for money and fame. Nabokov wrote Lolita to get attention. This novel engages moral dilemmas that are sensitive to its readers. The sensitive subject matter created such a controversy that it perpetuated sales and made it a bestseller, and he knew that if he wrote a book shocking and personal enough he would become wealthy. The novel speaks as though it were a lived event which adds to the intensity of Humbert's actions and to the shock of the reader. The delivery and depth of his thoughts make one think this is a true story, and the effect can be that the reader finds the action even more appalling.

 

Simon Karlinsky once declared that the publication of Lolita in America and England signaled the final "collapse of the Victorian moralistic censorship that had persisted in Western countries till the end of the 1950's"(Iannone 54). Alternatively, Nabokov states, "Lolita has no moral in tow. For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstacy) is the norm"(314). This statement is taken from the epilogue that he wrote after the novel to state his intentions. The work has no other meaning than to shock the reader. None. Why would Nabokov bother taking the time to write a three hundred page novel just for the sake of "aesthetic bliss"(314)? Although he dismisses it entirely, moral issues arise quickly in this novel. The first moral is that by the age of twelve, one American girl has already been "hop...


... middle of paper ...


.... With the new release Nabokov will get more of what he wanted. On the INTERNET if one searches for the key word "Lolita", the reader will find several thousand locations in which the word "Lolita" is synonymous with pornography. Whether or not this is how Nabokov wanted to be remembered, Lolita has its place on the INTERNET. Though we may never know what drove Nabokov to write Lolita, it is still a great novel though immoral.

 

Works Cited

Boyd, Brian. "The Year of Lolita'." The New York Times Book Review 8 Sept. 1991: 1-33.

Iannone, Carol. "From Lolita' to Piss Christ'." Commentary Vol. 89, n. 1, Jan. 1990: 52-54. "Lolita and the Critics." New Republic Vol. 139, 27 Oct. 1958: 3. Nabokov, Vladimir. The Annotated Lolita. New York: Vintage Books, 1991.

Schuman, Samuel. Vladimir Nabokov, a Reference Guide. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1979.

 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Unreliable Narration in Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita Essay

- The Chicago critic Wayne Booth in his book Rhetoric of Fiction first coined the terms reliable and unreliable narrator. These terms have been of notable importance in narratological (analysis of narratives) studies ever since Booth’s book was first published in 1961. Booth defines the reliable and unreliable narrator in the following way: “I have called a narrator reliable when he speaks for or acts in accordance with the norms of the work (which is to say the implied author’s norms), unreliable when he does not” (Booth 158-59)....   [tags: Vladimir Nabokov Lolita]

Powerful Essays
2348 words (6.7 pages)

The Effect of Language in Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita Essay

- The Effect of Language in Lolita        What really is reality. How can we define reality. The very nature of such a subjective subject means that there are as many answers as there are questioning minds on the planet. Therefore, reality can only be defined as what it means to each of us. We learn particular ways of looking at life from our experiences, which we gain from our interactions with others. This is the basis of an elaborate theory called "the social construction of reality." In modern America, one of the largest social groups to which we can belong, certain values are instilled into our impressionable minds; for example, not many of us would accept pedophilia....   [tags: Nabokov Lolita Essays]

Powerful Essays
2036 words (5.8 pages)

The Unreliable Narrator in Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita Essay

- "Distracted by his charm, his wit, his intelligence, and - yes - his murderer's fancy prose style, we may momentarily forget that he is indeed the monster he says he is" (Rivers and Nicol 153).        In his "On a Book Entitled Lolita", Vladimir Nabokov recalls that he felt the "first little throb of Lolita" run through him as he read a newspaper article about an ape who, "after months of coaxing by a scientist, produced the first drawing ever charcoaled by an animal: this sketch showed the bars of the poor creature's cage." The image of a confinement so complete that it dominates and shapes artistic expression (however limited that expression may be) is a moving and powerful...   [tags: Nabokov Lolita Essays]

Powerful Essays
2019 words (5.8 pages)

Obsession in Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita Essay

- Obsession in Lolita       The relationship between Humbert Humbert and Lolita is no doubt a unique one. Many people who read the novel argue that it is based on "lust", but others say that Humbert really is in "love" with Lolita. However, there is some astounding evidence that Humbert has an obsessional-compulsive disorder with Lolita. The obsession is clearly illustrated when Humbert's actions and behavior are compared to the experts' definitions and descriptions of obsession. In many passages, Humbert displays obsessional tendencies through his descriptive word choice and his controlling personality....   [tags: Nabokov Lolita Essays]

Powerful Essays
2264 words (6.5 pages)

The Silver-tongued Rapist in Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita Essay

- The Silver-tongued Rapist in Lolita   You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. So says Humbert Humbert at the start of Lolita in his account to the "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury" (9). He refers to himself as a murderer (he is, after all, "guilty of killing Quilty"), not as a rapist, the far more serious offense Lolita levels at him. That I, and everyone else who reads the book, call Dolores Haze by the name "Lolita" demonstrates the efficacy of Humbert's fancy prose style - under the spell of his aesthetic mastery, we, the jury, must bend to his subjective vision through memory, and thus we see the twelve-year-old nymphet as Lolita, as she is in Humbert's ar...   [tags: Nabokov Lolita Essays]

Powerful Essays
680 words (1.9 pages)

The Power Struggle in Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita Essay

- The Power Struggle in Lolita          According to literary theories and the theories of Fredrich Nietzsche, human beings have an unquenchable urge for power and will use "ethics," and everything else, in order to increase their authority. In Nabokov's Lolita, we see how Humbert controls Lolita in the beginning stages of their relationship but eventually finds himself going mad because of her deceitful ways and the control she has over his sexual desires.        The novel introduces HumbertHumbert, a man with charm and the dignity of being a teacher in Paris....   [tags: Nabokov Lolita Essays]

Free Essays
3964 words (11.3 pages)

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov Essay

- Vladimir Nabokov, one of the 20th century’s greatest writers, is a highly aesthetic writer. Most of his work shows an amazing interest in and talent for language. He deceptively uses language in Lolita to mask and make the forbidden divine. Contextually, Lolita may be viewed as a novel about explicit sexual desire. However, it is the illicit desire of a stepfather for his 12-year old stepdaughter. The novel’s subject inevitably conjures up expectations of pornography, but there in not a single obscene term in Lolita....   [tags: Lolita Essays]

Powerful Essays
2750 words (7.9 pages)

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov Essay

- ... Lana seems to forget that Lolita did, in fact, escape from Humbert Humbert. She ran away from Humbert due to his numerous attempts to take advantage of her and to steal her innocence. Lana Del Rey is not identifying with Lolita, but associating herself with the outlandish notion that a 12 year old girl willingly seduces 35 year old men and misinterpreting the tragic story of Dolores Haze (How Lana Del Rey...). On the cover of the 50th anniversary edition of Lolita, there is a rather troubling quote from “Vanity Fair”....   [tags: drugging, pedophilia, incest]

Powerful Essays
2190 words (6.3 pages)

Essay on Humbert's Description of Lolita in Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita

- Humbert's Description of Lolita       In Chapter 31 of Part 1 of Lolita, Humbert and Lolita are in the lobby of the Enchanted Hunters only hours after consummating their sexual relationship. As Humbert arrives in the lobby to check out of the hotel, he observes Lolita as she sits reading a movie magazine in a large armchair, and his description of her progresses from a focus on her loss of innocence to a focus on her inner, demonic nature. As elsewhere in the novel, the reader here sees Humbert attempting to mitigate his own sense of guilt and self-loathing....   [tags: Nabokov Lolita Essays]

Powerful Essays
1004 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita

- Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita Love, what is it. Love is a powerful feeling that is expressed in many ways throughout our society between men and women. Sometimes powerful feelings can have a negative ending, such as the ending in the novel Lolita. The affair, Humbert argues, was made possible because he resembled a movie star to Lolita, and ends when Quilty offers her a chance at Hollywood, something Humbert cannot do. Lolita is perceived by the adults in her life--Humbert, Charlotte, and Quilty--as a star....   [tags: essays papers]

Powerful Essays
618 words (1.8 pages)