Sunday, April 28, 2013

Review of Lolita

Lolita depicts the story of a adult man, Humbert Humbert, whose got a passion for young girls. Upon seeking a refuge from the real world he becomes a tenant in the household of Charlotte and her daughter Lolita. H.H. immediately falls for Lolita's charms and through scheming he and her undergo a tumultuous journey.

Lo, Lolo, Dolly, Dolores, Lolita,.. and every other name that she goes by never really capture what she's like. Like a lollypop, yummy but gone before you know it.
This novel wasn't easy to read. Not that it's use of english is high fetched, but I mean it rather emotionally. In the beginning of the novel I found myself being thoroughly angry and repulsed by Humbert Humbert and completely rejecting his idea of loving 'nymphets' (= 10 to 12y old cheeky girls).
Then as I tagged along in this novel and I got to meet Lolita, I got confused. Lolita isn't an ordinary girl. She's a sly, sexually simmering 11y old and Humbert Humbert is a fool to fall for her.

Pubescent teens are sly creatures and I think that the ones with problematic home lives are slow cookers of sexually and emotionally frustration that almost always tend to lead to their destruction. They'll take whoever's around with them.

That's how I see Lolita. Lolita grasps Humbert Humbert's interest very early on and uses this for her own advantage. When he's caught in her web, she makes him feel so infitisimely small that he'll do anything to keep her by his side, resulting in very jealous and paranoid behaviour.
Humbert Humbert isn't all blameless in this story. First and foremost, he should have been the adult and keep away from what was apparently to good to be true. Even with his affection for young girls, he should have realised that this just doesn't happen without any consequences.
Secondly, when Charlotte (lolita's mother) asked him to leave or love her, he should have left. Not do what he did. What he did to Charlotte is far worse than whatever he did to Lolita and she almost immediately after the accident left his mind completely, only the conquering of Lolita being dominantly present. She deserved better than a dog like Humbert.
Thirdly, even if he was under her spell and continued to believe that Lolita started the sexual play, he should have made the sound decision of leaving her under someone else's care. The way Lolita turned out is only because she thinks that only by being sexual she could get what she wanted. This is a prejudice women still struggle with today, especially the ones in high school and college.

So both Lolita and Humbert Humbert are low creatures. Does that mean they deserve each other? No, they would have been better people apart from each other, slightly defective maybe, but still better.

Personal rating: 7/10