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Lolita

Lolita

by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita Analysis

Literary Devices in Lolita

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Before going into symbols, imagery, and allegory in Lolita, it is important to note that Nabokov himself was very resistant, and in fact mocked, the idea that the book was full of such literary tri...

Setting

The main events of the story take place in America from 1947 to 1952, but there are several other settings that bear mentioning. Setting is critical to identity in the Lolita, as Humbert is very aw...

Narrator Point of View

With the exception of John Ray, Jr.'s academic and self-important prologue to the memoir, the novel offers one point of view, one voice, and one side of the story: that of Humbert the victimizer, w...

Genre

Lolita is such mash-up of different genres, it's impossible to label the novel as any specific one. Just when we think it complies with one generic category, Nabokov switches and plays on all of th...

Tone

With Humbert as our controlling (and insane) narrator, the tone comes across as sly, superior, darkly comic, and intellectual, alternating between bemused weariness and sweeping romanticism. With v...

Writing Style

For a book known for being very risqué, Lolita has no four-letter words or graphic sex; that's because of Humbert's style, which combines the lyrical and clinical, the poetic and the academic,...

What's Up With the Title?

The name "Lolita" is everything, as Humbert indicates in the book's opening lines. It's poetry, a religious incantation, and an erotic gratification. Importantly, we know from the novel's Foreword...

What's Up With the Ending?

On the one hand, the ending of Lolita is open-and-shut: everyone is dead. On the other hand, the conclusion is complicated by the fact that we only know everyone's fate by going back and re-reading...

Tough-o-Meter

Though the plot is very straightforward, Lolita challenges its readers for three fundamental reasons. One, the language is ornate and complex. Part of the narrator's charm, and the prose's strength...

Plot Analysis

Humbert loves young girls, which is fine when he is young, but becomes complicated (and illegal) as he gets older.From the Foreword to Humbert's memoir, we find out that Humbert died in captivity....

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Humbert loses Annabel Leigh, his childhood love, to overly protective parents. He must make up for the loss.As a young boy, Humbert falls in love with his first nymphet. When she is taken away from...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Humbert develops a taste for young girls. He earns an education on the continent and marries Valeria in an effort to cure himself and be taken care of. They divorce. Humbert moves to United States...

Trivia

There's a annotated version of the novel to let you know what every line refers to! It's almost twice as long as the book, clocking in at 544 pages. (Source)On Urban Dictionary everyone has his or...

Steaminess Rating

It's tough to give this novel a rating because it has no overt scenes of sexuality. Sexual acts are described in the vaguest of ways, often with Latin terms standing in for clear depiction. If you...

Allusions

King Akhenaten (1.5.8)Catullus (1.15.3)Hitler (2.8.11)James I (1.5.8)Queen Nefertiti (1.5.8)Eve (1.5.9)Lilith (1.5.9)Carmen (1.13.14)Tchaikovsky (2.6.1)Aubrey Beardsley (2.23.5)Nijinsky (2.6.1)Regi...

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