Lolita

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Lolita Part 2, Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
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 trips was “to keep [Lolita] in passable humor from kiss to kiss.”
Humbert’s sarcasm and mockery of tourist traps distract readers from considering Lolita’s feelings and situation. “Passable humor,” is a particularly insensitive way of describing the difficult emotional coping of a kidnapped, sexually abused girl.
Themes
Suburbia and American Consumer Culture Theme Icon
Exile, Homelessness and Road Narratives Theme Icon
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
Much to Humbert’s consternation, Lolita attracts attention of boys and young men wherever she goes. He becomes jealous and afraid, refusing to let her go anywhere without his close supervision. Humbert enrolls Lolita in tennis lessons during a long stop somewhere in California, and often takes her swimming. As the year passes, Lolita begins to treat Humbert with more indifference and hostility. She fights with him for constantly keeping her away from other people, and for preventing her from living a normal life.
Humbert gives Lolita lessons to create something resembling a normal suburban life for her. This is, of course, impossible. He doesn’t want her to know any other people, and keeps her from developing relationships with friends, teachers, and boys. Humbert’s need to have Lolita in isolation from the rest of the world deprives her of normal childhood experiences, and she reacts with anger.
Themes
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Suburbia and American Consumer Culture Theme Icon
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon