From the start of the novel, the narrator (Humbert) lets us know about his “francy prose style” (#9) Through out the first section I noticed that Humbert likes to play with words. Specially when he is trying to say Lolita’s name, breaking it up into syllables. I though this would be some information to hold onto thorough out the novel so that I could better understand him as a character.
In the first section Humber identifies himself as a murderer and addresses the readers as “ladies and gentlemen of the jury” (#9). I feel like at this point Humbert is stating that we are going to start judgement on him because of everything he is about to write in regards to his life and Lolita. I feel like through sections 1-4 Humbert is trying to convince or put forth that he had a very normal upbringing, “happy, wealthy child in a bright world” (#10) The introduction of Annabelle in section 3 just increases to his innocence as a young man. Trying to suppress the “paroxysm of desire” (#12) and then having to deal with his first love dying four months later. I felt some sympathy for him at this point. Which might be something he wanted the reader to feel. His mother dies when he is three, “picnic, lightning” (#10) as be blandly describes, Annabelle dies, and his governess (aunt) dies. He also talks about being exposed to the sexual world at the age of 13 through some movies and pictures. So I feel at this point the reader is just asking okay, what happened to this child that made him into the murderer that he is presenting himself as today. He tends to express himself as someone who was always loved by the people in his surroundings which i found relates to him knowing that he is being judged. He was loved by the workers in his father hotel, by the schools kids, and by women when he got older.
I also noticed how Humbert when playing with worlds uses relations to mythical and fairy tale things. The biggest example being the creation of the term “nymphet” (#18) when i looked up the world nymp it states that it is a mythological creature. But then it also gives Humbert’s definition which i found interesting. His play with words eventually gave an English world his personalized meaning and then through out the reading he says things such as being under a “spell” when talking about Annabelle’s love. He also makes reference to “enchanted island of time” (#18) and to the goddess “voluptas” (#21). There is also a relation with gardens that I noticed through out the reading. When he is first finding out about sexual things “decorous and purely theoretical decorous talk in the rose garden of the school” (#11), then when he was sneaking around with annabelle “after one wild attemp we made to meet t night in her garden” (#12), then later on he describes how he is at the park he states “ah, leave me alone in my pubescent park, my mossy garden” (#21) Maybe this just emphasizing that fairy tale land
This is really a difficult read I was glad I got to comprehend what was going on(ofcourse after reading it over like twice. But i suggest dictionary app right next to you as you read jotting down words you don’t know. I feel like its important to understand all of Hombert’s descriptions and choice of words so that we can better analyze what he is trying to get at with certain things.