Lolita Response Pages 143-247

Lolita has truly developed throughout parts one and two of the story thus far. She has grown from a mere child victim of a sick predator to a cunning young woman capable of manipulation. From the beginning Lolita has been seen as a puppet controlled by Humbert and strung along to whatever he says and does, “From the very beginning of our concourse, I was clever enough to realize that I must secure her complete co-operation in keeping our relations secret, “ (149).

He has forced-fed her the notion that she is in fact better off with him than anyone else, “In plainer words, if we two are found out, you will be analyzed and institutionalized, my pet,” (151). With this in my mind Lolita is attached to Humbert, for better or worse, as they continue on their travels and this is in fact a possible conception for Lolita’s future mind games. She has spent a great deal of time with a master manipulator that in fact she may have learned a trick or two from her stepfather/lover. For it is when they finally settle in Beardsley that we see a new Lolita, a new puppet master. Humbert intends for the two to live like an ordinary family on the surface while they are lovers in secrecy.  Now Lolita is a school girl finally back in the world of society and the more she explores the more she works her way out of Humbert’s clutches. He provides her with allowances like any father would give their child but since he craves his little nymphet he gives her extra money, lets her have a gift, or certain privileges of a teenage girl for her sensual touch, “for sixty-five cents plus the permission to participate in the school play, had Dolly put her inky, chalky, red-knuckled hand under the desk” (198). Lolita has him wrapped around her finger and with every gesture she gains more control that it begins to frighten him, “But I was weak, I was not wise, my schoolgirl nymphet had me in thrall. With the human element dwindling, the passion, the tenderness, and the torture only increased; and of this she took advantage” (183). Lolita controls Humbert with through his insatiable appetite for his little nymphet and this will be his downfall; this will be her key to freedom.

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