Jan 3, 2017

Lolita and Morality

The immorality of Humbert Humbert and his actions towards Lolita tell us how far one can get from his or her righteous conscience, the very inner quality of guiding to the rightness. It raises questions related to our understanding of ourself in our modern time, like to what extend has the human conscience lost its moral judgement. This is a chronic affliction that a reader might experience in reading Lolita and this is exactly what Humbert Humbert suffers from.

Lolita is a testimony to our pain and suffering in our modern day that is defeated by an indiscernible joy. We do not understand what Nabokov really says unless we put aside our preconceptions about the moral issues that the book raise.

I thought it is relevant to bring in Schopenhauer's input. In his essay on pessimism, Schopenhauer says in order understand this world’s suffering and misery is to accustom ourself with the fact that this world is a penitentiary, a sort of penal colony. If we do accustom ourself with such reality, we can locate ourself in front of a campus that would guide us through life and perhaps banish our doubts as to the right path to looking at it. If such authentic view is created, and if such desire has kindled a light in the darkness of our conscience, one can claim to understand what Nabokov means in Lolita.

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