Humbert’s Hints to Violent Actions

“I did not plan to marry poor Charlotte in order to eliminate her in some vulgar, gruesome and dangerous manner such as killing her by placing five bichloride-of-mercury tablets in her preprandial sherry or anything like that…”  (70)

Humbert sometimes shows a dark violent side of himself. Like in the above quote he describes how he isn’t going to kill Charlotte Haze in order to be with Lolita. It is alarming that he already has a detailed way of murdering someone. I read it as him saying it ironically; as if he already had Charlotte’s poisoned drink prepared.

Humbert then goes on with the idea of giving both Charlotte and Lolita a strong sleeping aid (71). This would allow him to easily caress Lolita during the night without compromising Lolita’s innocence. At least it doesn’t involve murdering Charlotte, right?

Earlier in the novel, Humbert showed signs of violence when he was with Valeria. He was contemplating on whether he “should kill her or her lover, or both, or neither” (29). What makes him snap is that Valeria’s lover, Maximovich, didn’t flush the toilet and Humbert attacked Maximovich.

Knowing that Humbert is widowed and in jail, this makes me believe that Humbert is in jail because he killed Lolita.

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