Lolita as A Dangerous Piece of Fiction

April 28, 2022 by Essay Writer

 Released in 1958, in America, “Lolita has been read by millions and written about by thousands”, as Durantaye said. Many have regarded Lolita as a dangerous piece of fiction, and they have debated its ethical perspective. In my opinion, this novel stands between beauty and repulsion, between reality and disease. These contrasts create a flowing balance. We are presented a middle-aged European who loves literature, who is well-spoken and educated. He seems trustworthy until we face his most intimate desires about taking advantage of a young girl named Lolita. He writes about this burning feelings and frustrations in a memoir while being in jail (”Oh, my Lolita, I only have words to play with.”) accused of murder. There are different voices that try to define Lolita: Leslie Fiedler, for example, commented that it is a novel about “the seduction of a middle-aged man by a twelve-year-old girl”. A reader, Lance Olsen, thought that it “is an impassioned attack against human insensitivity, against our all-too-frequent inability to grant another human being freedom and individuality”. I will look at Nabokov’s Lolita from a psychoanalytical point of view, and my main focus will be the complex and mysterious personality of Humbert Humbert.

John Ray, the fictitious author and editor of the ”Foreword” to Humbert’s memoir, said that the work would turn into ‘a classic in psychiatric circles’ Humbert Humbert can be seen as the victim of a traumatic episode: the death of his lover when they were teenagers; an event which left its trace on how the man perceives love and affects his later relationships. This fact connects, is we follow Freud’s theory, the subconscious and the conscious elemnents in his cognitive system. He is attracted to nymphets because the feminine ideal took the shape of his first love interest, his Annabell Lee, whose death had the greatest impact on him. His name suggests the dual nature of the character and his split personality. Humbert has a face that he is always trying to conceal; he fears the intensity of the darkest side of his mind: No wonder, then, that my adult life…proved monstrously twofold. Overtly, I had so-called normal relationships with a number of terrestrial women having pumpkin or pears breasts…I was consumed by a hell furnace of localized lust for every passing nymphet whom as a law-abiding poltroon I never dared approach.” He went through a dreadful breakdown” and he went to sanatoria, but his mental condition didn’t improve, as he had no will to get better. ”The reader will regret to learn that soon after my return to civilization I had another bout with insanity.”

At the beginning of the novel, Humbert refers to Lolita as ”Light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul”. The sickness transforms into art. Pedophilia is a major theme in the novel. The term pedophilia comes from the Greek word παῖς, παιδός (paîs, paidós), which means child and φιλία (philía), which means friendship. It describes an abnormal psychosexual development, considered morally corrupting. The protagonist has to hide deep inside his mind the sickness of his desires, which he considers ”degrading and dangerous” 

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