Films from Literature ENG 2400

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  • Three easy questions about the 1962 film...
  • #68099

    Prof. Masiello

    If the link is ambiguous and leads to lots of files, you are only looking for a pdf called Lolita ’62 scene.pdf.

    Please go to the above link and see a scene and a photo. Then post comments back here on OpenLab.


    Christopher Lobato

    A) Do you think it is effective?
    It is effective in showing the relationships between the three characters because the scene seems realistic and natural. This movie is more of a reflection of the time the film was made, so as a result, it opted for a more relatable scene. This kind of scene sets a perfect scenario to show the intimate relationship beginning between Humbert and Lolita as well as Charlotte’s one-sided love. By having this closeness in the car as well as the silence, it makes the scene feel much more intimate and personal as well. It is also a good showcase of Humbert’s true intentions and his real personality at the beginning of the novel. Although the actions are subtle, it becomes apparent what the director wants the audience to see.
    B) What does it mean?
    The scene is a signal to the later illicit relationship that Humbert will enter with Lolita as well as the later conflict between lolita and her mother. The audience is not explicitly aware of Charlotte’s love until much later in the movie when Lolita goes to Camp Q, and it shows what conflict is to come between Lolita and her mother as the film progresses. However, the choice of having Frankenstein as the film being shown could also be significant. Frankenstein’s monster could likely be associated with two characters, Humbert or Lolita. Humbert describes himself as a monster, so the connection to Frankenstein seems apparent. However, Frankenstein’s monster is a failed creation, and eventually, this backfires on his creator. We see this dynamic between Charlotte and Lolita and Lolita and Humbert. Charlotte detested Lo’ and even more so when she began to see how enamored she was with Humbert. With Humbert, we see the “monster” he created in trying to create his perfect nymphet. By conditioning her to be his Lolita, he destroys her innocence and childhood. This eventually backfires because she runs away from him, and in consequence, he becomes engrossed with revenge. Essentially this scene serves as foreshadowing for the events to come in the movie.
    The leopard-skin print is meant to be a reflection of her personality and role within the film. We know from the novel that Charlotte is a widow, and after meeting Humbert, she falls in love with him, and this fills the void left by her late husband. The leopard print is a symbol of her attempt to lustful and the indulgence of her carnal desires. She wants Humbert to fall in love with her, so she wears an exotic animal print. She wants to be “hunted” by Humbert, so it also becomes a reflection of her sexual maturity. The leopard print clothes with the low collar contrast with the more innocent look of Lolita and sets up for their future clashes. Ultimately we can see that Charlotte wants to be a mature woman from the way she tries to talk french to Humbert, to how she talks about traveling, and she often takes charge as we can see with her many interactions with Humbert.


    Jennifer Apuango

    A.) Do you think it is effective?
    * I think it is effective because in this scene it shows the relationship between Humbert and Lolita according to the hand situation. As well as Charlotte who loves Humbert but he does not return those same feelings for her. The audience can also see Humbert personality and what he actually wants since the beginning of the novel. It also shows a symbol of Humbert’s own lust. Lastly, is like a shorthand montage of the scene that visually provide a metaphor of Humbert obsession for Lolita.

    B.) What does it mean?
    * It means when Lolita places her hand on top of Humbert, with the mummy yelling on the screen, Charlotte swings her hand over to grab for Humbert hand. Which finds Lolita on his which there were more scream sounds since Charlotte glances over in confusion. After that, they all release hands and return to concentrating on the screen. This means that the screams worked well with the hand situation that was going on and the horror of Humbert pursuit of Lolita.

    C.) What does the animal print say about her?
    * Charlotte changes into a full blown leopard skin printed outfit which she mention “something cozier”. She also ask provocatively ” you don’t think it’s a little too risky” to Humbert. This leopard print is a symbol that she is provoking Humbert. After seeing Humbert for the first time, she started having feelings towards him. Which Charlotte wants Humbert to fall in love with her as well, since she feels lonely and an emptiness in her heart due to her husband death. Overall, her animal print dress means that Charlotte is the predator who is trying to hunt the prey which is Humbert.



    A) Do you think it is effective? It is effective because it shows that in this scene the relationship between Humbert and Lolita reluctance as an example of her mercurial nature. Humbert claims that his feelings for Lolita are rooted in love and not lust but his self-delusion prevents him from making his case. Charlotte his wife, who loves Humbert but he doesn’t return those same feelings for her because he has little control over his feelings and impulses. He can never consider the morality of his actions and he refuses to acknowledge that his feelings may not be recuperated. In this scene they are in a car together and it shows the intimate and his obsession eventually consumes him.

    B) What does it mean? The scene is a signal to the portrayed relationship between Lolita and her mother. She has nothing to say but criticisms toward her daughter. Charlotte must be the center of attention like being jealous of Lolita youth and her beauty. Charlotte’s hunger takes up all the space and Charlotte loses it. Charlotte starts yelling and attacks her every move that Lolita makes. She is unaware of Humbert doesn’t want her, he wants Lolita. It means that this is a sense and purpose in our lives. It helps us to get inside other people’s heads, so we can learn something about humanity and the human condition besides of what we can observe publicly and within ourselves. Everyone has moments of extraordinary selfishness to the point where the belief that the only person’s existence, you can be sure of is your own.

    C.) What does the animal print say about her? The animal print says about her reflection and personality in the film. We know that in the novel that Charlotte is a widow, and after seeing Humbert, she falls madly in love with him, and this fills the emptiness in your life. The leopard is a symbol of having the tendency to try and blend in because you feel a bit different from the crowd. You empathize well with others and are quick to help but are very selective about that you choose to keep close and that is exactly what Lolita is doing. You may be purpose driven or searching for your purpose. Adding the element of a leopard to your environment may keep you on track and help make your next move toward your goals. It helps you expand your perspective and stray away from your safety zones and you hit the ground running and never look back at it.


    Prof. Masiello


    Your analysis is certainly interesting.

    I would say that Charlotte is the hunter, and the animal print can mean she is “on the prowl.”

    The monster analogy is interesting. It works by providing a purely cinematic way of showing the relationship among the three characters and could be seen as foreshadowing that Humbert is a monster of sorts.


    Prof. Masiello

    You put a lot of serious thinking into your analysis, Ajay.

    Please see my reply to Christopher for more of my spin on the scene.


    Anderson Uribe

    A. Do you think it is effective?
    It is effective. The purpose of the scene is to show the dynamics between these three characters that will be taking place as the film progresses, while at the same time being humorous. The viewer is easily able to abstract both. The audience immediately understands both Charlotte and Lolita’s physical interest by holding his hands, as well as Humbert’s interest in Lolita, an interest that he wants to keep secret from Charlotte. The humor arises from this mini game of “who will hold hands with whom?” and allows the viewer to accept the reality, served in a palatable form, that Humbert likes an underage girl. In addition, as noted, this scene is not in the book, yet it is able to connect with the descriptive style of the novel by adding no dialogue.

    B. What does it mean?
    The film establishes Humbert’s interest in Lolita as a physical one, starting from the first time he sees her. Regarding age, Humbert is at a mentally equivalent level with Charlotte. This scene focuses exclusively on the sexual aspect of the relationship between the characters, which is a necessary dimension to look at given Humbert’s choice of a minor. For the viewer, his interest in Lolita requires dismissiveness of her prepubescent thoughts and maturity level.

    C. What does the animal print say about her?
    Charlotte is a predator. She is domineering and the one to pursue Humbert. Note that he is wearing a white shirt, in complete contrast with her leopard-skin outfit, making him seem like prey. We see this at play in the movie theater scene when she proactively seeks to hold hands with Humbert multiple times. In the novel, before Humbert finally stands up for himself, we see that Charlotte has been making all the decisions in the relationship while they have been married.


    Prof. Masiello


    Your replies are so well expressed and thoughtful.

    Thank you!



    Do you think it is effective?
    In my opinion, the scene is effective mainly because of the plane that unites the three inside the car from the shoulders to the head, we can see that they resort to a closed plane with the intention that the scene is intimate but with many details. , which allows highlighting what is happening between the characters through their expressive capacity and in the approach of the hands.

    What does it mean?
    It is a scene full of double meanings a great way to suggest something that could not be taught so soon. Trying to make the moment of the three more intimate, besides that we can see how they take in the foreground the face of lolita and Humbert wanting to establish that relationship between them superior to that established between Humbert and Charlotte showing that the attraction, attention and preference is more between lolita and Humbert and is not affected by the presence of charlotte, we can also see the sleight of hand between Humbert and lolita is much more sensual. We can see that the movie they are watching is that of Frankenstein in which a melancholic, mysterious and tension music plays that contributes to express the tension of their relationships.

    C)What does the animal print say about her?
    In this scene that is dressed in animal print, it is considered that she tries to demonstrate her character through the costumes, showing herself and others a symbol of strength, confidence and especially independence, showing that potential and desire for Humbert in addition to expressing that this man (Humbert) is hers and he is able to fight like a leopard.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Jimcya.

    Virginia Sanchez

    A) Do you think it’s effective?
    Without using dialogue I believe the seen was creative in its way to communicate the relationship between the characters. In this short scene, we see who Humbert cares more about by his quick escape from Ms. Haze’s hand, retreating both hands to Lolita. As Ms.Haze reaches for Humbert’s hand again for comfort she finds herself grabbing her daughter’s hand she looks confused and somewhat uncomfortable.
    B) What does it mean?
    It is possible the scene could be seen as a hint of what Humbert will do throughout the story, take advantage of a woman and child when there in vulnerable and scared positions. Both seek comfort but only one is given it while the other stealthily rejected. Both are distracted while Humbert does as he wishes in the dark, fully understanding what he’s doing.
    C) What does the animal print say about her?
    Charlotte may have intentionally been given leopard print clothing in the film as a symbolic way to show she is “hunting” for a lover and has her eyes on Humbert.


    Prof. Masiello


    Your comments are right on the money!

    Here is something for everyone to read: The “title” Ms. was invented around 1969 and is not relevant to any of the women in our readings. Especially someone like Charlotte, who is referred to in the book as Mrs. Haze and whose whole identity revolves around getting married.

    Ms. was a response to Mr. A man is referred to as Mr. whether he is married or not. Prior to 1969, married women were addressed as Mrs. and unmarried women were referred to as Miss. Women felt this was wrong. If you were to write a letter nowadays to a woman, unless she is known to you are a married person, it is safer to say Ms. For our fictional characters like Juliet, Charlotte, Lolita, Mrs. Bates, etc. Ms. sounds incorrect. (Sometimes in the case of actresses — I still call then that though some say “actor,” it seems to be a sign of respect to say Miss regardless of their age, so a reporter or medical doctor may say Miss _____ and it sounds polite.)


    Anderson Uribe

    Virginia, to add to your smart answer of “what does it mean?” At the end, of the scene, he ends with neither of their hands, which is foreshadowing the end of the story.


    Prof. Masiello


    Your comments on the drive-in movie scene and Charlotte’s leopard print are nicely expressed. (You have the wrong monster, not the Mummy, but Frankenstein’ Monster. Did you know, by the way, that most people call the Monster “Frankenstein,” but that is the name of the doctor!

    So even if a movie is called The Bride of Frankenstein” it refers to the Bride that Dr. Frankenstein created.


    Jabir Alam

    Do you think it is effective?

    I think it is effective it shows then relations between all three characters Humberto Charlotte Lolita. It shows three of them love each but they are inward of it. Charlotte loves humbert but he doesn’t show interest. Humbert is more interested in Lolita sexually

    What does it mean ?

    The scene is a hint what will happen in the rest of story and it shows the interest of humbert. Humbert is physically attracted to Lolita by knowing that she is just 12 years old because he’s an pedophile who’s sexually attracted to childrens .

    What does the animal print say about her?

    In the scene Charlotte dressed in animal print to show her desire lustfull thoughts towards Humbert. In the novel we read Charlotte is an widow she lost her husband and also in the clip we saw she is holding humbert hand but he shows no interest toward her


    Josue Manzueta

    A) Do you think it is effective?
    I do believe this scene is effective because it helps build the relationship between the three characters in a humorous way. It clearly shows Humberts predilection towards Lolita when he makes several attempts to get his hand off Charlotte and put them on Lolita’s. Furthermore I liked the fact that the scene has no dialogue because it helped the viewer understand Humbert’s obsession towards underage females just through his actions.

    B) What does it mean?
    I believe that this scene is trying to foreshadow that Humbert later in the story is going to end up with neither Lolita and Charlotte, because at the end of the scene he takes his hand off both of them. Also I believe that this establishes the conflict that will arise with all three characters with Charlotte wanting Humbert but Humbert wanting Lolita. Especially with Lolita and Charlotte perhaps competing for Humbert’s attention.

    C) What does the animal print say about her?
    The animal print demonstrates Charlotte’s character, it shows her as a confident woman. It fits her character quite well because she is the one pursuing Humbert. Moreover she wears it as a way to seduce Humbert and it helps establish her desire for a lustful relationship with Humbert.

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