Placing the Blame in Lolita College
Conversation surrounding Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita often entails the controversial discussion of whether Lolita, the young girl involved with the novel’s forty-year-old narrator, has some agency in the relationship, or whether Humbert Humbert forces her into the circumstances and keeps her trapped. Some argue that, because Lolita is only twelve years old at the start of the novel, Humbert takes advantage of the girl and she has no say in what happens to her after her mother dies. On the other hand, as we learn from Humbert, Lolita initiates many of the first sexual encounters between the pair, and Humbert is not Lolita’s first sexual partner. Also, as seen by the comments and gestures made by Lolita, the young girl plays tormenting mind games with Humbert from the very start. However, while taking into consideration that Lolita does have a significant amount of agency in the controversial relationship as she does initiate the sexual engagements and acts as if the relationship is a thrilling game, I still maintain that Lolita is trapped by Humbert and deprived of the childhood she wants until she finds the opportunity to get away. Lolita’s threatening comments, bitter attitudes, and asking for more and more money from Humbert...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 881 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6854 literature essays, 1853 sample college application essays, 279 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in