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by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita Book 2, Chapter 1 Summary

  • They begin their long journey around the United States. Humbert goes into great detail about the motels they stay in; all of the Americana is fascinating to him: "Sunset Motels, U-Beam Cottages, Hillcrest Courts, Pine View Courts, Mountain View Courts" (2.1.3). Lolita's favorites are the "Colonial" Inns, but they usually stay in ordinary motor courts.
  • Humbert realizes a few things about Lolita: that she has the capacity to be a major brat and that she is, in many respects, an unexceptional young girl who loves movies and sweets and is the ultimate desiring and gullible consumer.
  • Humbert tries to keep her away from other kids, especially boys. Lolita does a lot of pouting.
  • Humbert examines the ethics of his behavior, making all sorts of twists in logic to justify what he does. He also threatens Lolita that if she tells on him she will end up in a juvenile detention home.
  • They continue to push westward. Humbert details the landscape and natural beauty. They traveled from August 1947 to August 1948, avoiding Florida and Lolita's birthplace. They end up in the northeastern college town of Beardsley.

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