The Role Of Language In Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita

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Vladimir Nabokov was a noted novelist of experimentalism in the 20th century. His representative work Lolita has entered in a list of classics of modern literature and has been regarded as one of the greatest works of the 20th century. The novel Lolita is made up of layers of doublings, created by the author Nabokov and fictional author Humbert. It is Humbert who crafts the story of Quilty’s abduction of Lolita using the genre of the literary double tale, both Humbert’s and Nabokov’s doublings parody that genre, one whose unresolvable ambiguity creates the instability of the novel’s plot and of the narration itself. Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg on April 23,1899. Nabokov studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College,…show more content…
His skill with language pervades each sentence of the novel: from punning to wordplay to poetry. This shows the richness of his language. The effect of this linguistic play, however, often goes beyond mere aesthetic pleasure. In several places, Nabokov enlightens us with the idea of advertisement: language used to depict a product or service in an alluring way. This theme of advertisement-language creates an additional layer of meaning in Lolita. It suggests that language can be used to depict objects or realities in a way that adds artificial value. Indeed, on closer examination, it can be seen that Humbert Humbert uses this language not merely for his depictions of American culture but for Lolita herself. Understanding Humbert’s depictions of Lolita as moments of advertisement-language will helps us to understand the presentation of his relationship with her as something rendered more beautiful or valuable than it actually may…show more content…
Humbert was a 40 something British professor of French literature. He searched for a room to live in, and Charlotte Haze, a widowed, sexually frustrated mother, invited him to stay at her house. He declined until seeing her daughter, Dolores, affectionately called Lolita, with whom Humbert fell in love. To be close to Lolita, Humbert accepted Charlotte’s offer and became a lodger in the Haze household, and then became the stepfather of her. When Charlotte knew the truth, she run outside, got hit by a speeding car, and died. Humbert drove to Camp Climax to pick up Lolita. As they travelled across the United States, they entered into a sexual relationship. In public, they acted as father and daughter. But at last, Lolita left Humbert with another man. Many years passed by when Humbert found Lolita and her man and killed him. In the end, Humbert was under arrest and died in the prison. Because of his theme, by Humbert’s tragic love, Nabokov made it a metaphor for the failure of pursuing American dream which was the bridge between them. It also revealed the failure of social morality and school
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