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by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita Book 2, Chapter 4 Summary

  • Gaston Godin helps Humbert find a house at Beardsley and they settle in at 14 Thayer Street, a house that bears a pathetic but uncanny resemblance to the old Haze house.
  • At the Beardsley school, "an expensive day school" (2.4.3), Humbert meets Mrs. Pratt, who can't seem to get his name right and misinterprets Lolita and everything else. She lays out the school's educational philosophy, which is a bunch of nonsense.
  • Beardsley is more of a finishing school than anything else; social skills are way more important than intellectual rigor and the focus is on the "four D's: Dramatics, Dance, Debating and Dating" (2.4.5).
  • Humbert is consoled by the view from his Thayer Street house, which looks out on the school playground, where he hopes to watch Lolita and other nymphets through a set of powerful binoculars. Unfortunately, construction workers block the view soon after they move in.

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