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Lolita

by: Vladimir Nabokov

Suggested Essay Topics

In his narrative, Humbert often uses aliases to protect people’s identities. What does his choice of the personal pseudonym “Humbert Humbert” indicate?

How do Lolita and Humbert differ in their abilities to deal with the past? What do these differences reveal about their characters?

How does the novel treat the theme of romantic betrayal?

Lolita contains many recurring words and linguistic patterns. What is the purpose of these patterns? Do they all have meanings? How do they add to the text?

What is the purpose of the foreword by John Ray, Jr., Ph.D.? Why might Nabokov have chosen to include a foreword from a character who never appears in the story?

To what extent does Lolita have a moral? How does Nabokov attempt to convey this moral, or lack thereof?