Lolita
Lolita
by Vladimir Nabokov
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Symbol: Theater

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Theater plays an important symbolic role, because Lolita's involvement in it not only trains her to trick Humbert even better, but also becomes the way she gets closer to Clare Quilty, whose play, The Enchanted Hunter, is being staged at her school. As Humbert soon fears, perhaps Lolita's involvement in theater has trained her in the art of deception and performance:

By permitting Lolita to study acting I had, fond fool, suffered her to cultivate deceit. It now appeared that it had not been merely a matter of learning the answers to such questions as what is the basic conflict in 'Hedda Gabler' […] it was really a matter of learning how to betray me. (2.20.1)

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