Vladimir Nabokov

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Lolita: Part 1, Chapter 25 Summary & Analysis

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 isn’t Lolita’s legal guardian. When he calls the camp from a payphone, he is told by the camp mistress, Shirley Holmes that Lolita is on a hike, and won’t be back until the next day. Humbert Humbert is pleased to learn that his story, made up to trick the Farlows, has come true. He wonders if “McFate,” might have arranged it that way. While waiting for Lolita to return, Humbert buys her a suitcase full of new clothes. Finally, he makes a reservation for the next night at The Enchanted Hunters, a motel in a nearby town.
Once again, Humbert wonders if his imagination might have some influence on reality itself: his hiking story has come true. He suspects that fate is conspiring to create a certain pattern of events in his life. McFate is the name of a girl in Lolita’s class, whom Humbert imagines as the personification of the forces which control his destiny. Humbert’s decision to go to The Enchanted Hunters—which will turn out to be fateful—is once again based on a freak accident: Charlotte happened to point it out once in the encyclopedia. Continuing to manipulate people based on their fantasies, Humbert buys Lolita what he assumes she most dreams of: fashionable clothes. Humbert’s brief attempt at living a domestic, married life is over. He is once again an outsider, an exile without a fixed home or identity.
Suburbia and American Consumer Culture Theme Icon
Exile, Homelessness and Road Narratives Theme Icon
Patterns, Memory and Fate Theme Icon