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Analysis

Sometimes, there’s more to Lit than meets the eye.

Imagery: Nymphet

"Nymphet" is Humbert's word for an attractive young girl, but he goes to great lengths to define it precisely, particularly the age range and the exact physical qualities a "girl-child" (what we mi...

Imagery: The Enchanted Hunter

This phrase comes up many times during the course of the novel, and often in highly suggestive variations, such as "The Hunted Enchanters." It is first mentioned by Charlotte, who proposes that she...

Imagery: Cinema

Lolita is a very cinematic novel. Not only is the style highly visual, but Humbert also constantly imagines scenes unfolding as if they are up on the big screen. Lolita is also obsessed by movies,...

Allegory: America

America is one of the most prominent "symbols" in the book (for extended discussion see "Visions of America" under Themes). What America stands for – consumerism, kitsch culture, excessive ad...

Symbol: Theater

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,...

Symbol: Doubles

Lolita is full of doubles, also knows as doppelgängers: Humbert and Quilty, Annabel and Lolita. (Even the name "Humbert Humbert" reflects an in inner duality.) In spite of Humbert's deep resen...

Symbol: Clothing

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 sh...

Symbol: McFate

One of Humbert's favorite little catch phrases refers to the strange coincidences and convergences that Humbert experiences:As for me, although I had long become used to a kind of secondary fate (M...
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