Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Oh Humbert.

The passage I picked to close read is on page 130, which takes place in the hotel, the night before Humbert consummates his love.

"And less than six inches from me and my burning life, was nebulous Lolita! After a long stirless vigil, my tentacles moved toward her again, and this time the creak of the mattress did not wake her. I managed to bring my ravenous bulk so close to her that I felt the aura of her bare shoulder like a warm breath upon my cheek. And then, she sat up, gasped, muttered with insane rapidity something about boats, tugged at the sheets and lapsed back into her rich, dark, young unconsciousness. As she tosses, within that abundant flow of sleep, recently auburn, at present lunar, her arm struck me across the face. For a second I held her. She freed herself from the shadow of my embrace- doing this not consciously, not violently, not with any personal distaste, but with the neutral plaintive murmur of a child demanding its natural rest. And again the situation remained the same: Lolita with her curved spine to Humbert, Humbert resting his head on his hand and burning with desire and dyspepsia."

In this passage, Humbert plays with words, by using them in peculiar ways. He calls Lolita nebulous with means hazy and faint, which seems like an odd adjective to describe the little girl he is lusting after. He says "the aura of her bare shoulder like a warm breath " and she was "recently auburn, at present lunar," and the reader can picture Lolita just glowing and producing warmth, like some kind of goddess. He uses a lot of words and phrases that inform the reader that Humbert is very clear that he is a monster. He says his "tentacles" moved toward her, his body is a "ravenous bulk" meaning his is so hungry with desire, his body not just a big chunk of flesh. In this passage Humbert sees Lolita as a goddess and himself as a monster, which we do see referenced many times throughout the story. There are also rich phrases like "insane rapidity" and "neutral plaintive" which enrich the passage by going a step beyond descriptive.

No comments:

Post a Comment