Symbolism In Lolita

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The very name of a character is a vital aspect of one’s personal identity, revealing particular details of a place of origin or background. In Vladmir Nabokov’s, Lolita, the role of naming takes various forms as a motif and both a characterization and stylistic device. In order to understand Nabokov’s use of names, one must understand first that the novel is written by protagonist, Humbert Humber, as confessional for a murder he has committed. Therefore, false names are used to protect the identity of the individuals involved, all those except title character, Lolita. One must also understand the power dynamic between himself and his adolescent stepdaughter, Dolores, or Lolita as he calls her. Humbert’s imposing of names not only show his…show more content…
Furthermore, Vladimir Nabokov effectively uses naming as a literary device in Lolita through characterization and stylistic devices. Nabokov’s attention to detail in a character’s name reveals traits about that specific character. The name Lolita implies a sense of cuteness and endearment based on its literal translation and connection to the character. It is through these functions that naming acts as a key tool of characterization and provides further insight into analyzing each character.

Lolita opens with a foreword by the fictional Dr. Ray, and is presented as a confessional for a murder written by the protagonist, Humbert Humbert. Because it is written and told in Humbert’s view, he maintains a sense of power over the other characters in terms of storytelling. The reader is only told the context of events through Humbert’s perspective, or at least what he wants the reader to believe. As the writer of the confessional, Humbert is able to alter names to his liking, or perhaps keep the integrity of the name. Naming is one of the mechanisms demonstrated through his power as a
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