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Lolita

Lolita

by Vladimir Nabokov

Symbol: Clothing

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Clothing plays a huge symbolic role in the novel, as Humbert loves to buy clothes for Lolita. Clothes are a way for Humbert to project his fantasies onto Lolita, a way to bribe her, and a way to show his own perverse form of affection. His first mention of her includes a mention of her sock, and the first thing he does before he goes to pick up Lolita from Camp Q is buy her a bunch of clothes. His journal holds his obsessive record of what she is wears daily, "plaid shirt, blue jeans, and sneakers" (1.11.4); "rolled-up jeans" (1.11.5); "Checked frock" (1.11.10); "pretty print dress […] ample in the skirt, tight in the bodice, short-sleeved, pink, checkered with darker pink" (1.13.5). You get the point.

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