Lolita

Lolita

Nymphets Symbol Icon
“Nymphet,” is the word Humbert Humbet uses to describe the kind of little girl he finds sexually attractive. Nymphets are supposed to be charming, mischievous, elusive mixtures of tenderness and “eerie vulgarity.” When imagining nymphets, Humbert Humbert often uses imagery from classical mythology, folklore, and the natural world. Forests, islands, mists, beaches and trees become symbols of nymphets and nymphetry. For the male equivalents of nymphets, Humbert Humbert uses the word “faunlet.” Lolita is the chief Nymphet in Humbert’s life and imagination.

Nymphets Quotes in Lolita

The Lolita quotes below all refer to the symbol of Nymphets. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Lolita published in 1989.
Part 1, Chapter 5 Quotes

Between the age limits of nine and fourteen there occur maidens who, to certain bewitched travelers, twice or many times older than they, reveal their true nature which is not human, but nymphic (that is, demoniac); and these chosen creatures I propose to designate as ‘nymphets’

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker)
Related Symbols: Nymphets
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 1, Chapter 6 Quotes

In this wrought-iron world of criss-cross cause and effect, could it be that the hidden throb I stole from them did not affect their future?

Related Characters: Humbert Humbert (speaker)
Related Symbols: Nymphets
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Nymphets Symbol Timeline in Lolita

The timeline below shows where the symbol Nymphets appears in Lolita. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 5
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Life and Literary Representation Theme Icon
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
Interrupting his narration, Humbert Humbert introduces the idea of the nymphet: a special kind of little girl, between the ages of nine and fourteen, who is... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Life and Literary Representation Theme Icon
Women, Innocence, and Male Fantasy Theme Icon
Humbert Humbert wonders what happened to the nymphets he visually enjoyed but never touched, speculating that the activity of his imagination might have... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 16
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
As Charlotte drives Lolita to Camp Q, Humbert Humbert dashes off to look through his nymphet’s underwear. In her room, he discovers two posters: one from an advertisement, with his name... (full context)