Symbolism In Vladimir Nabokov's 'Pale Fire'

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Symbols Vladimir Nabokov: Symbolism while some authors create laden with symbolism, others, like Vladimir Nabokov, abhor the use of such a basic literary tool. In his poetic masterpiece, Pale Fire, Nabokov’s fictional poet and professor, John shade, whom Nabokov most definitely speaks through to some degree, wrote, “On students’ papers: ‘I am generally very benevolent. But there are certain trifles I do not forgive. Not having read the required book. Having read it like an idiot. Looking in it for symbols” (156). In will do just that: look through and examine three of Nabokov’s, Lolita, Pale Fire, and Speak, Memory, for their symbolic elements. Nabokov did not use beautiful symbolism to advance his novels, he used beautiful language; nevertheless, within that strict prose, Nabokov slipped in some symbolism into his works. In Lolita, for example, the first description of the nymphet is followed directly by a quote from the girl’s mother: “That was my Lo[lita]… and these are my lilies.” To which, the pedoplile-narrator, Humbert Humbert, responded, “Yes. They are beautiful, beautiful!”(40) Readers are well aware that Humbert Humbert does not care for the lilies as much as the girl, but since the comparison was made so deliberately, Nabokov most likely used the juxtaposition to represent Lolita’s blossoming attractiveness and purity. Nabokov did use one symbol consistently in all three of the mentioned novels, another natural symbol: butterflies and even puts a picture

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