Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lolita the demon

As I was thinking about moments when I felt disturbed while reading Lolita, I realized that most of them had to do with Lo herself, not actually Humbert. Kelly mentioned that Humbert uses terms relating to demons to describe her, and now that I think about it I can see why. Most people would expect a young girl who has been abused to be fragile, broken, depressed, and traumatized. However, Lolita rarely came off that way to me. In many cases it seemed that Lolita was toying with Humbert because she knew how obsessed he was with her and it was almost as if he had an uncontrollable disease. There are times in the book when Humbert describes Lo’s emptiness and unresponsiveness to his touches, and later on when he finally finds her he does talk about how he ruined her. I know she was severely damaged by the years of abuse, but I can’t help but remember that at first, Humbert tried to satisfy his longing while preserving her innocence, and it was Lolita who tempted him to the point of no return. Of course, as an adult he should have known better and there’s no denying he was a sick, disgusting man. However, the way Lolita’s presented in the book makes her seem like a willing participant, not simply a victim, in this crime. I guess that’s another reason why I wasn’t as disgusted by Humbert as I should have been.

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