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by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita Morality and Ethics Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #7

Instead of basking in the beams of smiling Chance, I was obsessed with all sorts of purely ethical doubts and fears. (1.25.1)

In spite of the impression he makes of a self-indulgent pervert, Humbert does actually have a moral compass, so to speak. He makes it very challenging to establish a complete and clear portrait of his character.

Quote #8

A couple of years before, under the guidance of an intelligent French-speaking confessor, to whom, in a moment of metaphysical curiosity, I had turned over a Protestant's drab atheism for an old-fashioned popish cure, I had hoped to deduce from my sense of sin the existence of a Supreme Being. (2.31.1)

Humbert has considered his place in a world in which God exists. Whether he actually believes in God is not clear.

Quote #9

The moral sense in mortals is the duty / We have to pay on mortal sense of beauty. (2.31.2)

In a typical poetic flourish, Humbert tries to act as though it is his moral obligation to appreciate beauty. What does this little verse suggest about his willingness to be accountable for his behavior?

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