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Quotes

Quote #4

Bland American Charlotte frightened me. (1.20.16)

Humbert expresses very ambivalent feelings about America. Charlotte represents the parts he doesn't like – the mainstream, low-brow consumer type.

Quote #5

There is nothing louder than an American hotel; and, mind you, this was supposed to be a quiet, cozy, old-fashioned, homey place—"gracious living" and all that stuff. (1.29.7)

Humbert conducts an extensive study of hotels. He loves them and hates them at the same time for their tacky, contrived, and hollow qualities.

Quote #6

By a paradox of pictorial thought, the average low-land North-American countryside had at first seemed to me something I accepted with a shock of amused recognition because of those painted oilcloths which were imported from America in the old days to be hung above washstands in Central-European nurseries, and which fascinated a drowsy child at bed time with the rustic green views they depicted—opaque curly trees, a barn, cattle, a brook, the dull white of vague orchards in bloom, and perhaps a stone fence or hills of greenish gouache. (2.1.14)

Humbert was brought up with a distinct image of "America." Many of these images are confirmed when he actually visits the sights.

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