The book is finally over and it was one I really enjoyed; the last part being my favorite. i I found it the most real and honest. Lauren finally (possibly) tells the truth..for the most part. She finally finds peace in the strangest place, an AA group. Not something that totally surprised me. The drunk-a-louge I really enjoyed. It was the only time I ever felt like I was reading something real. Even though she wouldn’t say the word epilepsy it was still so raw. I felt like she was really recovering by finally being honest. Both at the AA meeting and retreat even though they didnt listen to her.
I found it very interesting that she included the part about the psychiatrist when it could completely destroy her credibility. Not that the whole memoir was true, but it could have gone either way.. the psychiatrist does nothing for her metaphor but disband it.
This part was…interesting. I believe more than ever that Lauren is lying about the epilepsy, shes so explicit about the fact that shes lying just not about the specifics. She recollects for an entire month’s events then blames the epilepsy for the fact that she cannot remember the next event. I found it interesting that she was so open about the events with Christopher. She says them so nonchalantly like theres nothing wrong with what is happening.
I believe she is very smart. She knows exactly what to do to get what she wants. She provokes seizures to get out of uncomfortable situations and doesnt care about how it makes her look. She reapplied for the writing program under a different name knowing that she would get in. She even made up an age. Everything seems to work out for her; or so she makes it seem. That is, until Christopher enters her life. For the first time she encounters a relationship and it is totally twisted. i think that relationship is a metaphor in itself of how her life goes down the drain when she separates from her mother. Or how she has to find a way to exist successfully without her mother.
I also found interesting the whole Cherry Tree idea. The fact that after she gets the surgery she starts to remember things in episodes is amazing to me. I believe that may have been the way she got epilepsy and her mother doesnt want her to know so she doesnt think of her as a bad mother.
I am so much more interested in this book than lolita, probably because I can actually understand everything that is happening. It is more enjoyable to read as I can enjoy the story without having to figure out the puzzle behind it.
In this section, the mother’s role in Lauren’s “epilepsy” is more defined. I believe she is the number one cause of Lauren’s facade. The epilepsy is a cry for help and attention due to the fact that the mother was never as attentive as she should have been. At first, the mother paid attention just because she found that the disease made her child seem more interesting. She used her child to try and become popular; something she could never achieve on her own. Once she realizes that the disease is about Lauren and just Lauren, she loses interest completely and starts writing poetry or something.
In the beginning, Lauren was clearly using the epilepsy to get her mother’s attention and make her care. As time goes on she begins to not care about doing that anymore because she sees its not working. Her mother’s demeanor begins to annoy her and she continually states that she and her mother continued to grow farther and farther apart. “When she cried it was for things so utterly separate from me her tears were personal insults.”(64) It is so baffling to me how a mother could really not care about her child, that is why I dont think her mother does not love her or truly care for her; she is just so self absorbed that her child will always come second unless it is beneficial to her.
I am very intrigued with this story and find it very easy to read. What I find the most interesting is the mother character. I can tell she creates the most conflict in the story. What I really want to find out is why she is so displeased or unimpressed with her life. It is evident that she does not care about her husband an very minimally about her daughter. The first time her daughter had a seizure, the narrator notes, “so I waited, but she never appeared to nurse me that night, and this is a grudge I still hold”(20). Any caring mother would have ran to their child the minute they heard something had happened to them. but not her, she didnt even care enough to leave her bed.
The narrator has already proven her unreliability, a theme we are all too familiar with. She explicitly states that she exaggerates, as it is the only claim made in the first chapter. She also says, “Epilepsy shoots your memory to hell, so take what I say, or don’t. This I think I recall”(24). It is up to the reader to decide what they are going to take as fiction and fact, a point that is very big to the narrator.
The scene I chose to re-write is the scene where HH just picked up Lo at camp and is taking her to the hotel. It can be found in section 27, page 112.
“Well you haven’t kissed me yet have you?” I asked him.
I looked away immediately after I said it, completely embarrassed. Yet, I couldn’t disguise my longing for the feeling of his lips on mine. “Are you crazy?! He’s your stepfather. He’s old and he definitely does not feel the same way about you that you do about him.” But, hell I could not make it more awkward than it already is.
No sooner had he stopped the car than I flew into his arms. A tingling sensation cascaded through my body. I felt him on every inch of me, the warm, flowing passion flowing through me like a forest fire with a mission. I could not believe how right–or strange it felt. This was wrong, so wrong. My mother is in the hospital for God’s sake and all I’m thinking about is hooking up with her husband. What the hell is wrong with me? What will she think? She already hates me, this will just drive her over the edge. Boarding school here I come. Hes still kissing me back, maybe he feels the sa–wait a minute, was that a cop car?
Well things have started getting crazy. Charlotte is dead, Lolita and HH fornicate. Yet, the craziest point is the fact that I’m sure many of us still do not see HH as the pedofile, rapist or criminal that he is. Were entranced by his words.
This story is littered with such obscene and repulsive subjects yet when asked what the book is about, or how the book made you feel, pedophilia may not necessarily be the first thing that comes to your mind. HH writes so beautifully to distract the reader from what is actually happening in the text. He is truly a horrible person, but the way he writes about the crimes he commits makes us see him differently. He defends his actions in such a way that the reader will never be able to see him for the person he really is without looking past the words. We dont really blame him for his crimes, or we accept them because he tricks us into it. “Suffice to say that not a trace of modesty did i percieve in this beautiful hardly formed young girl whom modern co-education, juvenile mores, the campfire racket and so forth had utterly and hopelessly depraved.”(133) What he is describing in that sentence is his first time having intercourse with Lo, but he writes it so intricately you would never see it as something repulsive which is what it is.
The way HH makes it so easy for us to forgive his crimes, shows his brilliance. He is manipulating our minds through the text.. “I am going to tell you something very strange: it was her who seduced me”(132) When Lo was first introduced, and her willingness was described to us I was baffled by the fact that she had little to no restrictions towards HH. However, now I realize that it could really just be further manipulation on the part of HH, trying to prove his innocence. Saying that it was not all his fault. This book is amazing.
The only impression I think people have about HH is pervert, sick, needs to be locked away etc. What most people dont realize is, until they begin to look past that, theyll never see the brilliance behind the pedophile.
HH is strategic and ingenious in every aspect of his life. He makes a mockery of distinguished medical professionals just for fun. the entire time he is in Lolita’s household, he is devising a plan to get closer to her under the radar of charlottle. Charlottle is not even aware of his feelings for Lolita, she only gets hints of it because Lolita continues to make her small feelings clear. Which angers her mother because she has feelings for him. Once HH hears about summer camp, you would believe his plans would be derailed, but clever Humbert concocts another plan of how to stay in the house. He decides hhe will marry the mother and then kill her so h can be alone with Lolita forever. What was intriguing is the fact that HH discovers he cannot kill Charlotte. “Now is the time! And folks, I just couldn’t!…and still I could not make myself drown the poor, slippery, big bodied creature.” (87) He is also confused about the fact that he does not find Charlotte repulsive. It is not hard for him to have relations with her and he does not find her ugly. He thought being married to her and pretending he loved her would be torture and he woould have to picture her as Lolita’s big sister to be enticed by her, but it turned out to be surprisingly easy.
Another thing that was extremely surprising was how willingly Lolita embraced HH. “Suddenly her hand slipped into mine and without our chaperon’s seeing, I held, and stroked, and squeezed that little hot paw, all the way to the store.”(51) I believe Lolita might have a variation of the same problem HH has. When he is admiring or touching a young girl he does not see himself as the old man that he is. He sees girls in the same way an adult would see another adult, just the seduction and admiration, not the age. Lo sees how he makes her feel not how old he really is. “Then, with perfect simplicity, the impudent child extended her legs across my lap”(58) Humbert starts touching her and she gives in so carelessly, like nothing wrong is happening. She even enjoys it. “…and she wiggled, and squirmed, and threw her head back, and her teeth rested on her glistening underlip as she half turned away.”(61)
This is one of those books that you have to take your time reading it very slowly and sometimes a paragraph more than once. Luckily, the plot is interesting enough that you don’t get very bored reading it.
The fact that the narrator acknowledges the fact that he is sick but doesn’t stop lusting after the little girls is the biggest paradox to me. “…was my excessive desire for that child only the first evidence of an inherent singularity?”(13) He knows that it is wrong and just wont stop. I believe his sickness ranges to different things. He speaks about his exploits and conquests with such regularity its eerie. He tells his twisted stories and then ends with things like “…by the time of my arrest.”(16) As if getting arrested isnt an extremely significant action. He tells the story as if it is someone else going through it and he is completely unaffected emotionally and perhaps he is.
Another thing I find interesting is the subject of Humbert. I believe Humbert is his sickness personified, not actually the narrator himself because he always speaks about him in third person or how the narrator describes himself when the sickness takes over. “Humbert Humbert tried hard to be good.Really and truly he did.”(19) I could be completely wrong but this blog is supposed to be what I think right?
I enjoy the fact that the book’s setting is in Paris, but the fact that many sentences are in actual French makes it hard to read. But since I read it with a translator next to me and having to figure those out made the book more fun to read.
“The air of morning was so clear that the snow still crowning the Eighteen Peaks burned with white-gold fire across miles of sunlit air, under the dark blue of the sky.” (pg 1)
This story had some of the most vivid language I’ve ever seen. I was in complete awe of how descriptive it was. The sentence above was the first one that stood out to me and got me interested.
What I also found interesting was the reoccuring theme of happiness. You can find the word at least once on every page of the story. I didnt realize its significance until the child was introduced. That is when it is realized that everyone in the city of Omelas sacrifices the happiness of this one poor child to satisfy everyone else. They just continue living as if the child’s happiness is somehow beneath their own.
At the same time, it is evident that the tolerance for the child’s missey is developed. The young people that go to visit the child feel, “…anger, outrage, importence…” (pg 5) at the sight and treatment of the child. They want to help it but they do not know how. it takes them weeks and even sometimes years to finally accept it. “Their tears at the bitter injustice dry when they begin to percieve the terrible justice of reality, and to accept it.” The fact that they know the child is there and how it lives makes them value their own lives more. They dont take for granted their happiness.
Those that cannot accept the fate of the child end up leaving the city. Nobody knows where they go or how they end up. All that is known is that the knowlegde of the child and how it lives is enough to make them not want to be a part of a society that could do that.
The first thought that came to my mind when I finished reading the story was, “Wow, this is beautifully written.” It was written so creatively you dont even notice until you’re at the end. For most of the stories I read I can basically predict the ending. This was one of the few that actually surprised me. For that reason, I really enjoyed the story. It was not until I read the line, “I wonder if they all come out of that wallpaper as I did.” (pg 9) that I finally understood what direction the story was going in. I felt like everything prior to that was all over the place. From that point on, I was reading with extremely wide eyes.
For some reason, I read the last part of the story as if it were a horror story. It was extremely creepy if you picture everything she is describing in your head. On the first page of the story the wife says, “… — there is something strange about the house — I can feel it.” (pg 1) The biggest and plainest foreshadowing I’ve ever seen. You know that something really crazy is going to happen that will make your mouth form an O. That is exactly what happened to me, I could not understand at all what was happening until the end. It was a very interesting story.