Mason Courter 11/12/12 English 1101 Lolita In the book Lolita, there are many topics one could write

about. The most obvious would be about pedophilia and how the main character lives with the love for little girls. The topic I would like to focus mainly on for this paper is how seemingly small decisions can turn out to be life-altering. Consequences reach much farther than expected; many times affect more people than just us. As Humbert Humbert learns, nothing ever goes as planned, and what looked like a good idea initially can fall apart rapidly. Take a bank robbery for example; in the movie Gun Crazy, the main characters Bart and Laurie embark on several missions to rob banks in the United States. The pair plans the robberies with great care and rehearses each one like a play. What they fail to account for is what happens after the robberies. Even though they get away, some “getaways” are not clean and people are killed, their identities are discovered, etc. So now every authority in the America is after them and they can turn to nobody. They never planned for that, and soon their adventure comes to an abrupt halt when they are finally cornered and killed because they have nowhere to go. In the book Lolita, Humbert describes his thought processes for everything important that goes on during his life. One place where he messes up big-time is when he starts his sexual relationship with Lolita. They have sex at a hotel called the Enchanted Hunter and practically become husband and wife after, compared to daughter and step-dad like they were before. Now, from what he describes as her coming on to him, everything happens relatively quickly and all of a sudden it is over and they assume their usual roles.

As a reader/jury, we do not know how much this was changed from what actually happened by Humbert, but are left to rely on his account, so there is the possibility that he came on to her but that is irrelevant. The point is that Humbert had the authority as the male and father figure to prevent the situation in the first place but doesn’t. The man was a pedophile and was in the wrong from the start. Initially he has to stay with Lolita’s family just for a change in atmosphere. He is doing well with his illness at this point in the story, not really feeling the cravings. When he arrives and meets Lolita everything changes and he becomes once again, a predator. The second he walked in the door he was greeted by Mrs. Haze and everything was alright, then all of a sudden he looked up the stairs and saw Lo at the top. He falls flat on his face emotionally, so it is really no surprise that they end up having sexual affair. He was doing a good thing changing his atmosphere but living with a family was not a good idea. He should’ve stayed in some kind of rehab so there would’ve been no possibility of temptation. He didn’t think critically enough while brainstorming. Of course he goes psycho over this nymphet when he sees her but never once during his stay does he think about what kind of lasting affects he could have on her. As a boarder in the Haze household, everything had the potential to stay relatively quiet and composed somewhat of a normal house. The fact that Lo was too pretty for him to resist doesn’t help. In the novel, the author does make an obvious lean towards the fact that he only has feelings for nymphets and does not think about ever having sex with them, but this too may be a lie and his real thoughts hidden from the reader. He continuously makes advances towards the girl and acts like nothing is wrong. He touches her hair and legs and arms and says to himself that it’s all okay and no harm is being done to her soul. But the fact of the matter is he progresses to the sexual affair. It is as if he is a boyfriend that is 15. Teenagers start the relationship with holding hands. It is the first big step. That’s a big deal to both of them up until they have their first kiss. Then they start kissing in public and have the

first make-out and so on. Humbert went about his situation in the same manner. First he’s leaning into her hair, then her arm, etc. It’s as if he is reliving his relationship with the girl of his childhood in his home country. If he continued the original path and only stayed a creep he might have succeeded getting through life with no harm done to anyone, especially himself. Sitting on park benches watching little children play is borderline harmless. But he fails to control himself and completely destroys the chance to stay normal. The temptation was too much for him. With that being said, maybe the “park bench” idea was not such a good one after all, because once again, one thing led to another. It’s kind of related to what my mom told me as a kid. She would scold me for doing something wrong. If I gave her excuses, she would say that I shouldn’t have put myself in the situation in the first place and I wouldn’t be in the predicament I now found myself in. Humbert could use that piece of advice. If he really wanted to become a normal member of society he could avoid situations of temptation and stay above the influence of his own desires. Because he is a perfectly capable adult it leads me to believe that his problem is not one he wishes to change. He doesn’t see it as a problem until he affects someone else. He is ultimately a selfish addict that thinks about nobody’s feelings but his own. He does not think about consequences besides the ones he may face. Humbert fails to realize the ultimate inevitability of his demise. The crime of statutory rape on his daughter has no way out. He might as well have killed the president and wrote his own name on the president’s forehead after. There would be no place in the United States that he could show his face because he would be arrested on the spot. After Humbert rapes Lolita, he does not tell anyone, but having a child a witness of a serious crime is bad news for Humbert. The bottom line is, children run their mouths and he has a one-in-ten billion chance that she won’t say anything to anyone about it before she dies, which at any point he will consequently be hunted down like a dog and put in jail to

await his sentence. This is why you don’t tell kids stuff that you won’t want others to hear about. They are bad at keeping secrets. Humbert has nowhere to hide and as of this point, is wanted by the law for rape. After the consummation of their relationship, Humbert must now watch his back at every turn. He is now essentially Lolita’s bitch. I’m sure he fanaticized about being her lover before, but not to the extent that it turns out being. As things progress, Lolita becomes the normal teenage girl that is manipulating, demanding, and selfish. She is going to want to test her “father-figure” as if he were her real dad without the sick relationship that they have going on at this point. It is almost as if they are really married like he would have liked, if it were to be socially acceptable like in ancient times and in other parts of the world. With that being said, one can look at this part in the story two different ways. Either Humbert is either Lolita’s bitch as a father who has no guts, or he is the husband of Lolita who has no guts. What Lolita says, goes. If she wants new clothes, he buys them for her. If she wants to travel, he takes her wherever. If he wants to have sex with her, she begins charging him money to be compliant. I bet my bottom dollar Mr. Humbert never bet he would have to bribe her with money for sexual favors. He is now her toy, not in a sexual connotation either, but in a controlling way. Ironic. Another wonderful thought of Humbert’s was to murder his wife Charlotte Haze. This would have been a great idea, if it weren’t for all the effects that occurred after her accidental death. Because she accidentally dies right after he thinks about killing her, the aftermath is right on-time and gives everyone a good look at what would happen next if he would have murdered her. Bottom line is that she is now out of the picture regardless of how she is removed. Consequently, life is going to change for Lolita. Humbert imagined all that BS of him being so happy with Lolita’s mother gone. But what he didn’t think about was how that will affect Lolita as far as a maturity standpoint. It is not all about Humbert and Lolita living happily ever after without mom there to protect her from evil daddy. Lolita does need a mother around to help raise her. There are things a child learns from their father and there are things that a child learns from their mother. One cannot learn everything without one or the other, nor can a

single parent do a better job that a couple raising a child. It is a proven fact. Humbert is funny. He aspires to be such a scholarly man and even looks down on others who seem to think they are as well. But when it comes down to it, he misses details. So when Humbert complains about Mrs. Haze and all her nosiness and how she mothers Lolita and he wants her all to himself, he should’ve been happy that his little nymphet was getting all the motherly upbringing and love that she needed. Oh, and Humbert didn’t have to lift a finger to get rid of her. Astonishingly, she is hit by a car before he can go through with anything. The man is heartless; there is no doubt about it. He contemplates killing her a few different ways but decides against it because he cannot bring himself to do it. This does not give him any credit on my part because when she is killed, he gets over it relatively easy and concentrates more on the girl he now has to himself. Humbert does not kill Charlotte, but would have. He learns after her death the bad side effects of losing her. He now has full responsibility of the daughter. When Charlotte was alive, at least he had someone to help with the raising of the child. Lolita now has no mother and this alone is known to hurt the development of the child emotionally. So eventually a Clare Quilty runs off with little Lolita. She has no need of his company so she leaves him and eventually meets the man she marries. The time frame all this happens in is very interesting. There are only a couple of years between the time that Humbert loses his nymphet and when he gets a letter saying she is pregnant and married. So she is seventeen and married with child? I wouldn’t doubt it. Humbert got to Lolita when she was twelve years old. This means she was already very mature sexually by the time she was fifteen and sixteen. I’m sure there is a direct correlation between that and a rapid maturity of emotion and demeanor. Lolita skipped those years of growing up essentially. The years of eleven all the way up to seventeen are filled with mistakes, fights with parents, boyfriends, school problems, etc. Lolita skipped all these years and went straight to being a girl-wife. So at the end of the story as Humbert pleads to the judges he does state that the thing he did that was most horrible was the act of taking away Lolita’s childhood. In a sense, he did. She grew up way too fast.

So Humbert fanaticized and spied and was creepy most of his life, but again there are details he misses along the way. I don’t think he would have had the relationship he did with Lolita if he had truly loved her the way he said he did. By the time everything is said and done, he is showing remorse for taking her childhood from her. Lolita did mature faster than any girl should, and does have an attitude and personality that I’m sure is far from ideal, even though it works apparently in her new marriage, but that is not the only thing Humbert didn’t think about when he consummated their relationship. A childhood is the American favorite part of life. Everyone that is old dreams about their childhood. They dream about the schools they went to, their friends, their family, and they think about all the trials and tribulations along the way that got them to where they are now. I am by no means a man yet, even though I may be considered an adult by the government. However, I can already see in myself how one’s childhood affects the way they are their whole life. Everyone makes decisions based on how “they were raised” or by stating “when I was a kid…” Humbert failed to realize how important Lolita’s childhood was to her until it was too late and it is absolutely tragic. She will be scarred for life and have nothing to think about from her childhood but being raised by a loving mother and stolen by a psychopath from hell. All-in-all, Humbert doesn’t think before he acts. He is selfish and does not realize how far the consequences of his actions may reach. He is no different than a crack addict that destroys his own family. He is no different than a kid that gets in a car drunk and kills two people. He is no different than a serial killer. All these examples include people not thinking past their selfishness and own satisfaction. He deserves the electric chair and by no means should get to live. The jury would be crazy themselves not to give him the death sentence. Those are my thoughts on Humbert Humbert and his lack of ability to make decisions.

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