30 May 2013
Humbert’s reaction to losing Lolita, as well as his reaction to seeing her again, exemplifies just how complicated his feelings for Lolita are. Throughout the novel, Humbert has always strived to demonstrate that he’s not a common pedophile. I think Humbert believes that, rather than signifying some kind of deviant tendency, his love for young girls demonstrates his refined aesthetic sense. By linking all girls to the original girl, Annabel Leigh, Humbert. The nymphets become symbols of Humbert’s, not victims of his abnormal cravings. In the last sections of Lolita his attitude toward nymphets changes. Now that he’s lost Lolita, Humbert still finds himself sexually drawn to young girls, but he suppresses that craving and can’t imagine being with them anymore. When he sees her again, he realizes that Lolita is now long past her nymphet phase, yet he finds that he’s still fond of her.
In this section Humbert also presents to us, the jury whether Clare Quilty’s crimes are worse than Humbert’s. Humbert says that his feelings for Lolita are authentically romantic, while Clare’s are basely sexual. Humbert has always situated his relationship with Lolita in a larger artistic context, comparing the two of them to figures from literature and history. At the end of the novel, Humbert stops presenting his case to us, and instead addresses his victim directly. Humbert doesn’t plead for Lolita’s forgiveness, but he does attempt to make peace with her. He tells her that he is “thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita.” Here, I believe Humbert references to several figures from art history. Humbert offers his work of art as a present and penance to Lolita. Humbert and Lolita share the “immortality” of Lolita, because as long as the novel exists, there will be a record that preserves their...