Folklore and Parallels to Fairytales in Lolita College

The use of folklore and parallels to fairytales in Lolita makes the overall dynamic of the novel simultaneously confusing and artistic for readers. Nabokov implements the folklore and fairytale parallels in characters such as Humbert, Charlotte, Richard, and Lolita. However, the confusing aspect lies in the fact that each character can represent a different fairytale type throughout the book. This is especially true with Humbert, and explains the vexation readers have with his character. By the end of the book, the question of whether Humbert is sincere in his remorse, or lying about the truth, can be attributed to these folklore characterizations from Nabokov. It furthermore perverts the reader’s imagination of enchantment and the magical essence of fairytales as Nabokov blurs reality and fantasy.

In the article “The Enchanted Hunters,” Jones argues three reasons Nabokov uses these folklore characteristics in his characters. The first is, “[Nabokov] wishes to give his story some of the magical appeal of fairy tales…he wants to emulate their fanciful perspective,” (Jones 271). This is evident throughout the novel with his characters, place names, and Humbert’s narrations. Jones parallels characters in Lolita with character...

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