After reading Lolita, I didn’t know what to say. On one hand, it’s a book that is more-or-less entirely devoid of moral values. On the other hand, it really is an excellent piece of writing.
Lolita, as you probably have heard, centers around paedophilia. Humbert, the main character and protagonist, is obsessed with what he calls “nymphets”, little girls before the age of puberty. Through a coincidence, he meets and starts to obsess over Lolita, the daughter of his landlady. And towards that end, he even marries his landlady to remain close to her daughter. But when his new wife dies, he takes Lolita on a road trip and well, you can guess the rest.
To me, none of the characters in this book were sympathetic. Even Lolita, who is ostensibly the victim. She comes across as a selfish and manipulative brat and is generally unlikeable. She is the one who makes the first move on Humbert, and is even willing to exchange sexual favours for money and presents. While she is abused by Humbert, her moral corruption begins much earlier.
Humbert too, for all his smooth talking and euphemisms, is a disgusting man. He tries to justify his attraction by attributing it to a tragic romance while he was a child. And while he claims to try and preserve the purity of Lolita, he still commits unspeakable acts with her. Evidently, he’s never heard of the phrase “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”.
But curiously, the book is compelling. While I normally stop reading these types of books halfway, I read Lolita all the way to the end. Vladmir Nakabov is truly a master with words, and manages to convey the unspeakability of Humbert without using an explicit scenes.
So after some contemplation, I’ve come to see Lolita as a book that represents the fallen world. There are no good characters, and what occurs is what happens when mankind follows it’s natural impulses. Of course, this makes sense, since redemption can only come through the saving power of Jesus Christ. The book however, makes no mention of Christianity whatsoever and gives a very bleak ending.
In conclusion, I would recommend this book, but only to mature readers.
Published on 3 August, 2012. Last updated on