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by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita Book 2, Chapter 2 Summary

  • Humbert reflects upon the range of experiences he and Lolita had during their travels around the United States – all of which were, he admits, to keep her in good humor so he could have his way with her. They saw a lot of lowbrow tourist sights and ate a lot of bad food.
  • Along the way they had their fights, and Humbert always felt an almost paranoid level of protectiveness about Lolita. She wants to pick up hitchhikers, but Humbert doesn't like the contact with other people or air of sexuality she puts off to men. He is keenly aware of her other interests.
  • Lolita enjoys playing tennis and swimming. Humbert is happy to watch her in a swimming pool along with other frolicking adolescents.
  • In California she begins taking tennis lessons. One day, Humbert notices a man talking to Lolita – he begins to get worried.
  • Humbert enjoys playing games and manipulating Lolita to get sex out of her. He also likes reflecting on the important roles he plays in her life: "And I was such a thoughtful friend, such a passionate father, such a good pediatrician, attending to all the wants of my little auburn brunette's body!" (2.2.17). He is, here, referring to getting her a cup of coffee.

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