“Lolita” by Vladymir Nabokov Essay

July 13, 2017 Communication

The relationship between Humbert Humbert and Lolita. is extremely vague. Many readers who have read Lolita find it to be based on “lust” . while others find Humbert to genuinely be in “love” with his Lolita. However. there is grounds that Humbert’s desire for Lolita is based on some obsessive-compulsive behaviour which he can non command. and hence supports returning for her. Humbert’s compulsions can be clearly recognized in his behaviours when looked upon in H. R. Beech’s Obsessional States and Andrew Brink’s Obsession and Culture: A Study of Sexual Obsession in Modern Fiction’s perceptual experience of what compulsion is. Humbert’s obsessive inclinations are displayed in many transitions through his descriptive word picks and his over bearing personality. such as when he describes Lolita after returning from cantonment to be. “…all rose and honey. ressed in her brightest gingham. with a form of small ruddy apples. …with abrasions like bantam flecked lines of curdled rubies. and the ribbed turnups of her white socks were turned down. ”

Compulsion can be a hard topic because there is non a finite definition of what compulsion truly is. Who determines what compulsion is? When does deep esteem base on balls and compulsion Begin? Harmonizing to S. Jack Rachman “an compulsion is an intrusive. insistent idea. image. or impulse that is unacceptable or unwanted and gives rise to subjective resistance” ( 2 ) . Furthermore. Andrew Brink states that “…the popular significance of the term compulsion. including the new verb ‘to Ob. ’ which means to be persistently preoccupied about something. normally in an unsatisfactory relationship” ( 195 ) . These similar definitions are of import when looking at Humbert’s actions because his actions are perceived by these qualities.

First. Brink argues that most people have an obsessive defence. and this defence is brought out of work forces due to their fright of adult females. More specifically. this defence mechanism is explained as the “internalization of bipolar urges to both accept and reject the same fond regard object…” ( 195 ) . He farther describes it as “…a defence in which the internalized female parent is split into accepting and rejecting facets by which the individual additions quasi-independence from her by placing with her. ” ( Nabokov. 112 ) This construct is demonstrated in Humbert’s relationship with Charolette Haze. By Humbert depicting Charlotte upon there first meeting with “the hapless lady in her in-between mid-thirtiess. she had a glistening brow. plucked superciliums and rather simple…” ( Nabokov. 37 )

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Furthermore. Humbert provinces. “Had Charlotte been Valaria. I would hold known how to manage the state of affairs by simply writhing fat Valechka’s toffee carpus but anything of the kind in respect to Charlotte was unthinkable” ( 83 ) as a manner of allowing the reader understand his sense of fright. his deficiency of control. and his despair to recover his feeling of control. In hopes of recovering his lost sense of control Humbert secret plans to kill Charlotte ; with out her in his manner Lolita would be his. and he would hold full control over her. However. Humbert ne’er went through with his strategy for the mere ground. “poets ne’er kill” ( Nabokov. 88 ) In conformity to Brink’s definition of compulsion. Humbert seems to fall elusively into obsessive defence in the sense that obsessional men’s fright of adult females besides manifests itself as control ( 196 )

Humbert’s inclination to be commanding throughout the fresh leads the reader to believe he is obsessional. Throughout the fresh Humbert remains in control most of the clip. non merely in control of the characters. but besides in control of the readers. For illustration. Humbert tries to command the reader by doing them believe his side of the narrative to be true: “Frigid dames of the jury! …I am traveling to state you something really unusual: it was she who seduced me” ( Nabokov. 132 ) . Humbert besides tries to act upon the healers. saying. “I discovered there was an eternal beginning of robust enjoyment in piddling with head-shrinkers: cutely taking them on ; ne’er allowing them see that you know all the fast ones of the trade ; contriving for all them luxuriant dreams. …teasing them with bogus “primal scenes”…” ( 34 ) .

Brink. noticing on this scene stated “the sadistic. commanding purpose of this statement of cognizing better than the healer is typical of obsessive patients…” ( 102 ) . Humbert has this demand to experience he is in complete control. When the control is lost. a desire to retain his sense of laterality can get the better of him. This is best presented to the reader as Humbert kills Quilty near the terminal of the novel. Although antecedently non taking the chance to kill Charlotte. Humbert has already lost his control over Lolita. his love. and hence discoveries killing Quilty as a manner of holding some kind of control recuperated. Walking through Quilty’s house. old to slaying him. Humbert locked as many doors as he could. commanding where Quilty could withdraw to. ( Nabokov. 294 ) However. after the slaying. while sheering back and Forth along the route. Humbert is stopped by the constabulary. and at that point gives up full control for insanity. ( 306-307 ) And hence. upon losing control it is discovered Humbert truly is obsessional.

Humbert’s obsessivity is besides conveyed through the words he uses. and the descriptions he gives ; his linguistic communication conveys compulsion. For case. after Humbert’s foremost sexual brush with Lolita he describes her as “brown. naked. frail Lo. her narrow white natess to me. her huffish face to a door mirror. stood weaponries a akimbo. pess ( in new slippers with pussy-fur tops ) broad apart…” ( Nabokov. 137-138 ) . By retrieving such item while in gaol old ages after the incident it seems rather clear that Humbert had an obsessional nature. This is besides conveyed when he describes Lolita as “naked. except for one sock and her appeal watchband. a velvet hair thread was still clutched in her manus ; her honey-brown organic structure. with the white negative image of a fundamental swimwear patterned against her tan” ( 125 ) .

Lolita is a really complicated novel to analyse due to the many readings made by different persons. However. it is evident that Humbert was enduring from some kind of obsessional upset. It is evident simply in what Humbert negotiations about and how he says it. There are few cases in the novel where Humbert is non talking about Lolita or intriguing about holding absolute domination over nymphets.


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