Vladimir Nabokov

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Lolita: Part 1, Chapter 18 Summary & Analysis

Humbert Humbert and Charlotte are married in a quiet ceremony. They are interviewed for a society column the next day, and Humbert uses the opportunity to invent a plausible backstory for their relationship, which Charlotte accepts. Charlotte busies herself “glorifying the home,” buying new furniture and visiting neighbors with the enthusiasm of a young bride. Humbert notes that most of the more refined neighbors don’t socialize much with Charlotte.
Charlotte, a socially excluded widow, is eager to become the ideal American housewife. She is the perfect target for Humbert’s tricks, because she already wants to believe that he is the perfect husband. She isn’t even suspicious when he makes up a backstory for their relationship, something which will later allow him to pretend to be Lolita’s father.
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