Brave New World Essay

2923 WordsAug 13, 201412 Pages
Lolita: The Etymology of a Nymphet The novel Lolita concerns a relationship characterized by obsession by a middle aged man, Humbert, for a prepubescent girl, Lolita. This fictional relationship has been a source of many questions as to what the writer, Vladimir Nabokov, had in mind when he wrote the novel. Thus, the novel has been looked at from different aspects in attempting to come up with what it portrays. Humbert, in his flowery description of Lolita, uses the word "nymphet" to refer not only to her but also to other girls of her age and characteristics. Little girls that came his way before Lolita, he describes as nymphets too. The purpose of this analysis will be to discover what exactly Humbert refers to as a nymphet in the novel Lolita in relation to the type of image today's society sees as a nymphet with the goal of establishing whether or not the novel portrays the influence of a nymphet. It will attempt to find the similarities and differences between the image of a nymphet that Lolita portrays and the real life image of today. The history of the word "nymphet" in English does not go beyond 1955 when the novel Lolita was published because its first use is in the novel. It was introduced into English by Mr. Humbert Humbert himself. Through his unique sexual perception, Humbert describes the behavior or the sexually luring ability of little girls as unnatural or nymphic: "Now I wish to introduce the following idea. Between the age limits of nine and fourteen there occur maidens who, to certain bewitched travelers, twice or many times older than they, reveal their true nature which is not human, but nymphic (that is, demoniac); and these chosen creatures I propose to designate as "nymphets (16)" Nymphic is adjectival for the noun 'nymph' and the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia defines nymphs to be, in "Greek and Roman mythology, lesser

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