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by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita Book 1, Chapter 20 Summary

  • To escape the summer heat, Humbert and Charlotte spend a lot of time at Hourglass Lake. Charlotte complains that she wants to fire Louise and get a "real trained" German servant. She also explains that she wants to dispatch Lolita to Beardsley College, a boarding school, straight from camp!
  • Needless to say, Humbert is seized by violent emotions – with classic hand wringing and an urge to throttle Charlotte. He knows that Charlotte, at once stupid and shrewd, would become suspicious if he protested sending Lolita off to school. He daydreams about murdering Charlotte right then and there at the lake, imagining in detail how the ugly scene would go down. He decides it's not such a hot idea.
  • After working on a painting a ways up from the lake, Jean Farlow joins them on the beach. She begins talking about Ivor Quilty and his nephew, but her husband walks up and interrupts her.

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