Lolita

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Lolita (Dolores Haze) Character Analysis

The novel’s title character, and Humbert Humbert’s great nymphet love. Lolita begins the novel as a flirtatious, energetic twelve-year-old interested in comic books, crooners, and becoming a movie star. Her kidnapping and rape by Humbert Humbert—whom she reluctantly comes to view as a father—ruins her childhood. In her adolescence, Lolita learns acting and how to play tennis. As she matures, she gets better and better at manipulating Humbert. Eventually, she is able to plan an escape with her lover, the playwright and pornographer Clare Quilty. She leaves Quilty when he asks her to act in his porn films. She marries Dick Schiller, an engineer, and dies in childbirth on Christmas Day, 1952.

Lolita (Dolores Haze) Quotes in Lolita

The Lolita quotes below are all either spoken by Lolita (Dolores Haze) or refer to Lolita (Dolores Haze). For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of Lolita published in 1989.
Part 1, Chapter 1 Quotes

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker), Lolita (Dolores Haze)
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:

These are the first lines of the novel proper, in which Humbert Humbert offers an opening remark on his attraction for Lolita. The passage immediately immerses the reader in the narrator’s both twisted and seductive psychology.

Rather than offering background information on him or Lolita, Humbert jumps straight into a bizarre mix of love expression and self-admonition. That Lolita is a “light” and “fire” presents her in a traditionally positive imagery of illumination and vigor, yet the tone immediately changes with the observation that that same light is a “sin.” Even this line has a third turn, however, when Humbert appends the term “soul.” Lolita thus may epitomize his evil actions, but she remains integrated into his deepest identity: Lolita, Nabokov implies, is a sin Humbert will be unwilling to renounce.

It’s worth spending some time on the word-level choices Nabokov has made. The heavy alliteration in the lines gives the language a luscious quality: First come the five “l” sounds, subdivided into an “lo,” three “li”s, and a final “lo.” Then comes the two “s” sounds of “sin” and “soul” again, divided between the vowels of “i” and “o.” Nabokov is a true master of such linguistic play. He uses it throughout his work to craft compelling prose, but this sentence seems a bit overdone—and purposefully so. As a parody of his own style, it indicates that Humbert’s language may at times become overwrought.

Notice also the incessant repetition of the possession “my”: Humbert may start the novel by discussing Lolita, but she is only ever seen in relation to himself. When read closely, these lines teach the reader to be cautious of any description the narrator will offer on Lolita—for his perceptions will always be warped through a similarly possessive viewpoint. She will be seen through the lens of his sin and his soul rather than on her own representative terms.

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Part 1, Chapter 8 Quotes

Quine the Swine. Guilty of killing Quilty. Oh, my Lolita, I have only words to play with!

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker), Lolita (Dolores Haze)
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

Humbert Humbert makes this exclamation when he finds a book in the prison library that includes an entry on Clare Quilty next to one on Dolores Quine—who bears the same name as Lolita (Dolores). His paranoid mind latches onto this coincidence and he laments the way he has been entrapped.

In response to this sense of paralysis, Humbert alludes to language as his only recourse for self-empowerment. Physically imprisoned, he is on trial for both a real jury and the jury of the reader—and thus has only his deceptive, florid prose to use as defenses and as objects of play. The sing-song rhymes of the first two sentences serve this exact function: Humbert cannot actually exonerate himself or change his circumstances, but he can compare “Quine” (who bears Lolita’s name) to “Swine” and “Quilty” to being “Guilty.” The sentence thus serves to both describe and enact how Humbert is restricted to games of language.

That Humbert addresses this mournful line to Lolita puts into parallel the way he wishes to play with her and his inability to do so. Thus while the line might seem to disempower Humbert, it also reiterates the sexual and seductive role of Humbert’s writing: his exuberant use of language becomes a way to recreate his experiences with Lolita. Furthermore, the desperate, emotional note that creeps into the line's final exclamation is surprisingly tragic—underneath all the twisted obsession and wordplay, there is also an emotional heart to the character of Humbert Humbert.

Part 1, Chapter 13 Quotes

Lolita had been safely solipsized.

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker), Lolita (Dolores Haze)
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:

Humbert delivers this pithy pronouncement during his first sexual experience with Lolita. He describes the encounter with highly abstract language that distracts the reader from visualizing the scene, while also pronouncing with pleasure his victory.

The line employs a shocking, albeit brilliant, pun: Solipsism is the philosophical belief that nothing exists, or can be proved to exist, outside of the self. So to solipsize someone would mean to view them as only a fictional projection of your own mind. It is a way to deny the external reality of other people and to bestow on them the significance that you so desire. Indeed, this is characteristic of how Humbert interacts with Lolita, always veiling her in metaphors and romantic tales. To do so “safely” implies less the actual security of Lolita herself and more the way Humbert has insulated himself from his own and the reader’s judgmental eyes.

The pun holds a darker side, however, for the way it rhymes and recalls “sodomized,” a term that comes from the Biblical tale of Sodom and that has since been applied generally to sexual actions deemed perverse or culturally inappropriate. Nabokov’s linkage of sodomy and solipsism thus shows the high ethical stakes of accepting Humbert’s language and theoretical pronouncements. To his eyes, Lolita may well be just a confluence of his internal desires, but the reader is being taught to note how this may obscure the actual human stakes of his sexual perversities.

…and my moaning mouth, gentlemen of the jury, almost reached her bare neck, while I crushed out against her left buttock the last throb of the longest ecstasy man or monster had ever known.

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker), Lolita (Dolores Haze)
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

At the climax of his sexual encounter, Humbert makes this striking appeal to the reader. He both incriminates himself and believes that the splendor of his language and sentiment will somehow serve to exonerate his actions.

In a sense, this is not an unexpected choice. Humbert began the section by explicitly calling attention to the readers as similar “gentlemen of the jury,” and he often uses the phrase to cast us as arbiters on the morality of the narrative. Yet whereas his tone during such appeals is generally cautious and controlled, here he seems to have lost himself in the erotic energy of the events being described. Presumably, the “jury” will not find his pedophiliac descriptions redeeming. And, indeed, Humbert proves to be conscious of how horrific his action are: His “ecstasy” belongs to “man or monster,” which obscures which one of the two he is. Yet Humbert’s candid tone seems to imply that he does not particularly care, for it is not the moral designation of being a man over a monster that he seeks, but rather the superlative of “longest ecstasy.” This description implies that he believes the aesthetic uniqueness of the experience will triumph over any judicial or moral system.

Part 1, Chapter 14 Quotes

I had stolen the honey of a spasm without impairing the morals of a minor. Absolutely no harm done. The conjurer had poured milk, molasses, foaming champagne into a young lady’s new white purse; and lo, the purse was intact.

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker), Lolita (Dolores Haze)
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

After finishing describing his perverse sexual encounter, Humbert reflects on how his action did not in fact maltreat Lolita. To justify this belief, he argues that the experience took place primarily within his own mind and with an aesthetic image of Lolita—and adds that she maintains her virginity.

As usual for Humbert, however, the main point is hidden beneath a thick layer of fancy images. Here, they are all luxurious foods: his orgasm is “honey,” while his sex becomes “milk, molasses, and foaming champagne.” He thus presents perversion in metaphors that, if literal foods, would be desired by a young girl (and also echo the physical results of his masturbation)—thus implying that Lolita has enjoyed, or at least been untroubled by, the experience. This, presumably, is why he feels that her “morals” have not been impaired and “no harm” has been done.

Yet Humbert’s point is predicated on the idea that a purse that is “intact” has not experienced any negative consequences. That is to say, he believes that if Lolita has not changed externally or physiologically, that his actions had no adverse effect. In doing so, Humbert explicitly ignores her psychology and denies her interior experience—something that is particularly noticeable since he constantly describes the richness of his own psychology. Nabokov cautions the reader from developing such harsh divisions of what is internally and externally valid for others, asking us to be skeptical of how much Humbert values his aesthetic life while denying how others may experience the world.

Part 1, Chapter 33 Quotes

In the gay town of Lepingville I bought her four books of comics, a box of candy, a box of sanitary pads, two cokes, a manicure set, a travel clock with a luminous dial, a ring with a real topaz, a tennis racket, roller skates with high white shoes, a portable radio set, chewing gum, a transparent raincoat, sunglasses, some more garments—swooners, shorts, all kinds of summer frocks. At the hotel we had separate rooms, but in the middle of the night she came sobbing into mine, and we made it up very gently. You see, she had absolutely nowhere else to go.

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker), Lolita (Dolores Haze)
Related Symbols: Motels and Rented Houses
Page Number: 141-142
Explanation and Analysis:

Humbert describes the events that transpire just after he informs Lolita of her mothers’ death. To compensate, he buys Lolita a litany of presents and then later observes how their mutual exile has brought them closer together—just as he had wished.

Nabokov is riffing, here, on a specific type of American consumerism. As a European, Humbert would have not grown up with such an obsessive relationship with purchasing objects, but he sees them as a way to seduce and sedate Lolita. He presumes she can be placated with toys and sweets—and especially by clothing. We can read this as both a personal strategy of Humbert’s and also a critique of the American belief that owning things provides a source of emotional significance and meaning. Lolita has just lost her mother, and yet the only response Humbert offers are purchased products and sexual manipulation. As an immigrant, Nabokov held an excellent critical eye for many such American practices, and this novel, in particular, takes aim at the magazine and film consumer industries Nabokov found distasteful.

The final lines in this passage shift the tone, however, from superficial to emotional and predatory. Humbert reflects with delight how entrapped Lolita has become in his game, for, without a mother, she can turn to no one except him. These lines should be recalled at other moments when Lolita seems complicit or even empowered in Humbert’s games, for her actions only ever exist on top of this fundamental state of desperation—even if the desperation is covered by a consumerist veneer.

Part 2, Chapter 1 Quotes

Mentally, I found her to be a disgustingly conventional little girl. Sweet hot jazz, square dancing, gooey fudge sundaes, musicals, movie magazines and so forth—these were the obvious items in her list of beloved things.

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker), Lolita (Dolores Haze)
Page Number: 148
Explanation and Analysis:

As Part 2 begins, Humbert zooms the narration out and talks in broad strokes about the experience of traveling as an exile with Lolita. Here, he complains about her weak intellectual capacities and her preference for superficial, cliched experiences.

Humbert’s complaints reveal a remarkable shift in his attitudes toward Lolita. Whereas previously she was presented only in idealistic terms that took her every action as beautiful and divine, here she becomes far more human. That Humbert’s main point of contention is with her “mentally” points to how he has previously only valued and considered her physically. Seeing her only as an external object had allowed him to aestheticize her, but once he must reconcile with her actual thoughts and behaviors, Humbert must see her as a full internal being.

And what he finds there is, of course, “a disgustingly conventional little girl”—for she is after all a young girl, and a young American girl at that. Humbert complains of her preference for dances, sundaes, and other banalities, but these are standard fare for someone of her age. Indeed, the only shocking thing in “her list of beloved things” is that Humbert finds them shocking at all. This passage offers the first hint of how the pragmatic reality of caring for Lolita will become a burden that interrupts Humbert’s fantasies.

If some café sign proclaimed Icecold Drinks, she was automatically stirred, although all drinks everywhere were ice-cold. She it was to whom ads were dedicated: the ideal consumer, the subject and object of every foul poster.

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker), Lolita (Dolores Haze)
Page Number: 148
Explanation and Analysis:

Humbert continues to criticize the superficiality of Lolita’s preferences and actions. He casts her, here, as a quintessential American capitalist consumer.

His first complaint refers to Lolita’s insatiability and fickle memory. She cannot recall, each time she sees a sign for cold drinks, that they are available easily and everywhere—not just at that one specific place. That is to say, she cannot connect other drink experiences to the current one and to therefore make a rational judgment on the relative value of this café. This criticism is highly ironic, of course, for it is precisely that forgetful and innocent mindset that allows Lolita to be so easily seduced by Humbert. His tactics work on her just like an advertising campaign, and Humbert himself directly engages in capitalistic consumption by constantly purchasing gifts to subdue Lolita. Thus he is driving the exact process he dislikes.

The passage also offers a more general comment on American culture when it references “the ideal consumer.” Nabokov appears to belittle the forgetful obsession with ice cream and ice drinks as not just a character flaw of Lolita but indeed one of Americans at large. It’s worth noting that we would expect consumers to just be the “object” of advertising—that is to say, the viewer who desires what is being portrayed. But Lolita is also the “subject” of the advertisement or the thing being portrayed. Thus she is presented as both the (sexual) commodity and the one consuming the commodities, both an empowered purchaser and a helpless object.

Part 2, Chapter 2 Quotes

My only grudge against nature was that I could not turn my Lolita inside out and apply voracious lips to her young matrix, her unknown heart, her nacreous liver, the sea-grapes of her lungs, her comely twin kidneys.

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker), Lolita (Dolores Haze)
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:

As Humbert continues to recount his and Lolita’s travels across America, he oscillates between a loving and disparaging tone. Here, he switches into the former to reiterate his obsession with Lolita and to describe a passion so consuming that he wishes to connect with her full person—both inside and out.

This fascination with Lolita’s interior seems at odds with Humbert’s earlier obsession with her external appearance. Previously, he was frustrated with her “mentally” and preferred to see her as a projection of his own fantasies rather than an actual human. Here he wants to understand and come into contact with that interior—yet he never makes a reference to her mind or emotions. Rather, he seeks organs that regulate breathing and bodily functions, thus shifting the imagery to consumption. After all, “voracious lips” implies not a careful touch, but rather the act of greedily eating. And the organs are coated in his usual batch of aestheticizing adjectives. Nabokov thus displays how Humbert’s attempts to express interest in other parts of Lolita eventually undermine themselves: Even when he presumes to be more caring, his actual language only reiterates sexual greed and twisted violence.

Part 2, Chapter 3 Quotes

We had been everywhere. We had really seen nothing. And I catch myself thinking today that our long journey had only defiled with a sinuous trail of slime the lovely, trustful, dreamy, enormous country that by then, in retrospect, was no more to us than a collection of dog-eared maps, ruined tour books, old tires, and her sobs in the night—every night, every night—the moment I feigned sleep.

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker), Lolita (Dolores Haze)
Related Symbols: Motels and Rented Houses
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:

As he continues to recount his travels with Lolita, Humbert becomes increasingly desperate. He lapses more and more out of a poetic tone, or even a critical one, and instead reflects on the actual horror of what is transpiring.

This moment of seeming honesty begins with an expression of exhaustion and despondency. Though they have traveled all over America, they “had really seen nothing,” which points to how Humbert has focused solely on Lolita and his own paranoia above all else. They have followed the narrative conventions of an American road trip, in which one goes in search of new experiences with different people and cultures, but instead Humbert’s gaze has remained fixedly solipsistic and inward, only moving to a new place to best position his relationship with Lolita. As a result, the journey seems suddenly drained of meaning. What was before a fantasy land is instead just the detritus of “dog-eared maps, ruined tour books, old tires”—all physical reminders of the sad, desperate road-trip.

He contrasts these desolate images with “the lovely, trustful, dreamy, enormous country”—a remarkably positive take on America considering how harsh the European Humbert has been on the nation before. That their journey has “defiled” America implies that the country was pristine to begin with, and casts their crimes as having a significant negative effect on the space. This is a notable shift from his earlier contention that pedophiles do no public harm, for here the very geography of America has been marked by their sinful travels. Nabokov positions Humbert, then, as increasingly aware of his moral complicity, not because he has necessarily come to a full self-accusation, but simply because the glamor of the travel has faded. In a sense, he can no longer seduce himself.

Furthermore, Humbert's brief admission that Lolita sobs every night when he himself is asleep is especially tragic and horrifying. It hints at other kinds of trauma that Humbert may have glossed over or repressed in his "confession," and is a stark reminder of the very real psychological horror Lolita is enduring at this time—something not even Humbert himself can deny any longer.

Part 2, Chapter 7 Quotes

O Reader! Laugh not, as you imagine me, on the very rack of joy noisily emitting dimes and quarters, and great big silver dollars like some sonorous, jingly and wholly demented machine vomiting riches; and in the margin of that leaping epilepsy she would firmly clutch a handful of coins in her little fist, which, anyway, I used to pry open afterwards unless she gave me the slip, scrambling away to hide her loot.

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker), Lolita (Dolores Haze)
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:

As Lolita becomes more accustomed to Humbert’s games, she develops an increased sense of agency in their relationship. She begins to demand money and objects, causing Humbert to reflect on his newly subordinate role as a pimp-like producer of currency.

Humbert’s image here is both grotesque and comical. He transforms himself into a “machine” that is “emitting” money in an automatized fashion, but the contrasting use of the verb “vomiting” adds to the mechanical a sense of human filth. In contrast to the earlier poetic language used to describe his sexual encounters, this one becomes sickly with “leaping epilepsy,” demonstrating that Humbert has begun to see his behavior as deviant.

Furthermore, the passage takes the earlier criticisms of American consumer culture and places them directly in the sexual moments Humbert previously found to be sacred. The image of the machine—and of Lolita holding the coins—directly presents their interaction like that of a prostitute and client. It makes explicit that he is paying for sex and presents Lolita as an active and manipulative agent in that encounter. Though we should be by now quite skeptical whenever Humbert presents Lolita as more aware that she may be, the passage makes clear that Humbert feels himself to have lost his prior complete control.

Part 2, Chapter 29 Quotes

I could not kill her, of course, as some have thought. You see, I loved her. It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker), Lolita (Dolores Haze)
Page Number: 270
Explanation and Analysis:

Humbert has finally been able to track down Lolita and her husband, and he arrives with murderous intentions. But when he sees them in person he cannot bring himself to go through with the act, and he reflects once more on his love.

He pre-empts, here, reader’s expectations with the phrase “as some have thought.” Up to this point, the novel has seemed to follow the tropes of a detective and revenge narrative, but it reaches here only an anti-climax as opposed to the expected conclusion. Even at this later moment in the text, Humbert remains aware of his readership as a jury—and is still narrativizing his life, even as the expected narrative has fallen through.

Humbert’s profession of eternal love for Lolita contrasts rather starkly with the actual type of affection in the scene. Humbert’s previous romantic descriptions and accompanying metaphorical language have faded away, and he sees the older Lolita in much more realistic terms. Yet, read closely, the construction of “at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight” might offer an explanation: By equating “first” and “last,” Humbert implies that it is the original image of Lolita as nymphet that still dictates his image of her. In cultivating that myth and turning it into this novel, he has immortalized her as “ever and ever sight.” Thus while the conventions of genre fiction may have failed and his view of her is reduced to banal realism, he has been able to, through the text, create a more permanent image.

Part 2, Chapter 36 Quotes

I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita.

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker), Lolita (Dolores Haze)
Page Number: 309
Explanation and Analysis:

As the novel draws to a close, Humbert reflects again on all the wrong he has done to Lolita and wonders whether anything can be done to address his crimes. He ends his text with the promise of immortality, which the two will hold within the text, as a partial redemption.

Humbert returns, here, to his more floral way of writing and to his philosophical musings on art. He references a variety of artistic tropes: “Aurochs” are a now-extinct cattle species that were depicted in cavemen paintings, while “angels” are traditional religious icons—both of which survived due to “durable pigments.” To connect the two is to bring the most primitive and most religious art into a single sentence, just as he crosses genres from painting to writing with the reference of “prophetic sonnets.” What unites all forms of art, Humbert, explains is how they function as a “refuge” by giving their subjects “immortality.”

The text thus becomes a way to not only repent for what Humbert has done to Lolita, but also an attempt to offer her memory a small reprieve. Though he may not be able to grant her an actual childhood free of perverse pain, he can retrace their history together and crystallize it forever into this novel. Here, then, we see the moral impetus Humbert feels to write, and we also gain insight into why he found it necessary to write in such fancy prose. Beyond just a seduction mechanism, that style allowed him to rewrite his memory of Lolita into the most beautiful setting possible. Yet we must always remain skeptical readers to the end—and note that Humbert’s last lines smack of a nostalgia for his sexual experiences with Lolita. True, he may be offering her a bit of redemption, and a tragic declaration of devotion, but only in so far as he continues to speak for her and preserve his own nymphet obsessions for eternity.

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Lolita (Dolores Haze) Character Timeline in Lolita

The timeline below shows where the character Lolita (Dolores Haze) appears in Lolita. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Foreword
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Life and Literary Representation Theme Icon
The foreword to “Lolita, or the Confession of a White Widowed Male,” is written by the fictional psychologist John... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 1
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Exile, Homelessness and Road Narratives Theme Icon
Life and Literary Representation Theme Icon
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
Patterns, Memory and Fate Theme Icon
Humbert Humbert begins his manuscript by repeating the name Lolita in various ways, lingering on the mouth sensations associated with saying it. He mentions a... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Exile, Homelessness and Road Narratives Theme Icon
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
Patterns, Memory and Fate Theme Icon
...that he can no longer visualize her in full detail, since the singular image of Lolita has fully replaced her in his mind. Nevertheless, he tries to describe the story of... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
Patterns, Memory and Fate Theme Icon
...connection there might be between his young romance with Annabel and his adult obsession with Lolita. Were these normal pubescent feelings, or did his perverse sexual tastes begin then? He concludes... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 10
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Suburbia and American Consumer Culture Theme Icon
Life and Literary Representation Theme Icon
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
Patterns, Memory and Fate Theme Icon
...her house, until she leads him outside to the piazza and garden. There, he sees Dolores—Charlotte’s daughter, whom she calls “Lo,” and “Lolita”—for the first time. Lolita is sunbathing and wears... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 11
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Life and Literary Representation Theme Icon
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
...Haze’s in the summer of 1947. The diary is a record of his attraction to Lolita—and sometimes the weather—which unfolds over several weeks in June. He writes it in his most... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 12
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Patterns, Memory and Fate Theme Icon
...his diary, Humbert Humbert complains of the frustration he felt at being so close to Lolita, while remaining unable to sexually possess her. He imagines his desire as a devil who... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 13
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Suburbia and American Consumer Culture Theme Icon
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
...Hamiltons. But the Sunday outing is cancelled by Charlotte when the Hamilton daughter gets sick. Lolita, furious, refuses to go to church with her mother. Charlotte leaves her at home with... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 15
Suburbia and American Consumer Culture Theme Icon
Exile, Homelessness and Road Narratives Theme Icon
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
Although she doesn’t want to go, Charlotte sends Lolita off to summer camp. Humbert Humbert, distraught, considers leaving the house until she returns. He... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 20
Exile, Homelessness and Road Narratives Theme Icon
...walk from the parking lot to the beach, Charlotte tells Humbert she plans to send Lolita to boarding school immediately after camp. Humbert, horrified, excuses himself by claiming he needs to... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 21
Suburbia and American Consumer Culture Theme Icon
Exile, Homelessness and Road Narratives Theme Icon
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
Patterns, Memory and Fate Theme Icon
With Lolita off at camp, Humbert Humbert and Charlotte spend the months of June and July together... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 22
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Patterns, Memory and Fate Theme Icon
...prescribe him sleeping pills. He tests these pills on Charlotte, meaning to use them on Lolita when she returns from camp. Worried that they aren’t strong enough, Humbert goes back to... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 23
Life and Literary Representation Theme Icon
Patterns, Memory and Fate Theme Icon
...later, he can only make out a few sentences. One of the letters was for Lolita, another was for the headmistress of a reform school, and another was clearly addressed to... (full context)
Suburbia and American Consumer Culture Theme Icon
Exile, Homelessness and Road Narratives Theme Icon
Life and Literary Representation Theme Icon
...Realizing that he’s been given a perfect opportunity, he schemes up a way to remove Lolita from Camp Q and become her guardian. First, he fakes a call to the camp... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 24
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
...Jean Farlow help Humbert Humbert to load up his belongings for the trip to fetch Lolita. Just before he goes, Jean corners him in the hallway and tries to kiss him;... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 25
Suburbia and American Consumer Culture Theme Icon
Exile, Homelessness and Road Narratives Theme Icon
Patterns, Memory and Fate Theme Icon
Humbert Humbert drives to Camp Q to pick up Lolita. He is anxious, fearing that Lolita will mistrust him, or that someone will realize he... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 27
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Exile, Homelessness and Road Narratives Theme Icon
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
Humbert Humbert picks up Lolita at Camp Q. He tells her that Charlotte is very sick, and pretends they are... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 28
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Life and Literary Representation Theme Icon
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
As he waits for Lolita to fall asleep, Humbert Humbert walks through the hotel. He reaches a pinnacle of happiness... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 29
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Patterns, Memory and Fate Theme Icon
Humbert Humbert returns to the room to molest Lolita. To his surprise, she wakes up easily; the pill given to him by the doctor... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 31
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Patterns, Memory and Fate Theme Icon
...Finally, in an effort at justification, Humbert tells his readers that he was not even Lolita’s first lover. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 32
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
Later in the morning, Lolita tells Humbert Humbert about her first sexual experience, which took place at Camp Q. It... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 33
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Lolita is shocked at the news of her mother's death. To calm her down, Humbert Humbert... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1
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Lolita and Humbert Humbert spend the next year (August 1947 to August 1948) traveling across the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 2
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Humbert Humbert goes into greater detail about his year of travels with Lolita. He sarcastically lists the tourist attractions they visit, emphasizing that the only reason for the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3
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Still describing his year of travels with Lolita, Humbert Humbert explains how at one point he tries to recreate his childhood beachside love... (full context)
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As they continue their travels, Humbert Humbert and Lolita have a few close encounters with being discovered: once while having sex in a forest,... (full context)
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...as a French Professor at Beardsley college. There, he plans to settle down and enroll Lolita in school. Humbert reflects sadly on his year of travel with Lolita, which he imagines... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4
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Humbert Humbert and Lolita move into a house in Beardsley. When he goes to speak to Headmistress Pratt of... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 5
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Living in a fixed location with Lolita for the first time, Humbert Humbert becomes anxious about his neighbors, all of whom strike... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6
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...He is confident that Godin is too self-absorbed and stupid to notice his molestation of Lolita. Further, he notices that Godin is always surrounded by young boys: he speculates that Godin... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 7
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Lolita devises a way of taking advantage of Humbert. She demands more and more pocket money... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 8
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Humbert Humbert becomes concerned as Lolita socializes more frequently with her schoolmates. Above all, he is jealously terrified of Lolita going... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 9
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Lolita makes friends with the girls in her school. Humbert enjoys their presence at the house,... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11
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One day, Headmistress Pratt calls Humbert Humbert in to discuss Lolita’s worrying behavior at school. She is worried that Lolita is sexually and socially repressed, and... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 12
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After she recovers from a fever, Humbert allows Lolita to have a “Party with Boys,” in the house. Every ten or twenty minutes, Humbert... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 13
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Lolita begins rehearsing for her lead role in The Enchanted Hunters, a play about a young... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 14
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Humbert Humbert learns that Lolita has begun skipping piano lessons. He becomes so anxious that he loses a game of... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 15
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Humbert Humbert fixes up the car for a long trip, telling Lolita’s school that he’s been called away to an important job in Hollywood. As they drive... (full context)
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Humbert tells Lolita how happy he is that she’s given up the play. Nevertheless, he can’t help but... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 16
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Humbert Humbert and Lolita leave Beardsley and drive west. They go through a town close to Lolita’s Midwestern hometown... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 17
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Growing suspicious of Lolita and the plan of the trip she has made, Humbert decides to stay at the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 18
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Humbert Humbert and Lolita travel farther west. A red Aztec Convertible begins following them on the highway, and Humbert... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 19
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Humbert Humbert and Lolita stop in Wace, where Humbert has set up a P.O. box in which they can... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 20
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Humbert Humbert regrets that he ever allowed Lolita to learn acting—all it did was help her to deceive him. He also happily reflects... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 21
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Humbert Humbert is going mad with anxiety. He expects Lolita to try and escape from him very soon, at any moment. One morning by a... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 22
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At a motel in Elphinstone, Lolita falls ill with a fever. Humbert Humbert takes her to a nearby hospital, where she... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 23
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Humbert Humbert spends nearly four months trying to track down the man Lolita ran off with. He visits 342 hotels, motels, etc., and at each of them, he... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 25
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Without Lolita, Humbert Humbert falls into despair. Over the next few years, he throws away or donates... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 27
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...to South America, wants nothing more to do with the properties he is controlling in Lolita’s name. He warns Humbert that he is turning his legal responsibilities as guardian of Lolita’s... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 28
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The very next day, Humbert Humbert leaves for “Coalmont,” the town where Lolita and her new husband live, bringing his gun with him. On the way there, he... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 29
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Humbert Humbert rings the doorbell, and “Dolly Schiller,” answers the door. She is older—no longer a nymphet—but clearly pregnant. She takes him inside... (full context)
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Lolita and Humbert sit down in the living room. He demands she tell him the identity... (full context)
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Humbert is heartbroken when Lolita comments that Quilty is the only man she ever loved. Humbert can see that she... (full context)
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As Humbert prepares to go, he pleads with Lolita to come with him. She thinks he’s asking her to have sex with him in... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 31
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...but can find no comfort in it: nothing can erase the damage he inflicted on Lolita’s life. Humbert begins to realize the moral seriousness of what he’s done, and ends the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 32
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Newly conscious of ruining Lolita’s childhood, Humbert meditates on moments when he noticed but coldly ignored her pain. He remembers... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 33
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...Charlotte Haze, Humbert runs into Mrs. Chatfield, who all but accuses him of having kidnapped Lolita. He tells her about Lolita’s marriage to Dick, and just to shock her, informs her... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 36
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...police to arrest him, Humbert Humbert recalls a moment of reflection he had soon after Lolita’s disappearance. He remembers looking at a small town from the crest of a hill, listening... (full context)