Comparing Lolita And Notes On A Scandal

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The themes of sexual exploitation and obsession are of great resonance. The characters in both novels exercise the longevity of their erotic obsessions, which inevitably leads to their demise. The rich essence of these novels evokes moral uncertainty and a deep sense of ambiguity. It is this sentiment that makes both novels compelling to the study of literature. Tragedy is used to vehicle the reader’s moral justifications, sympathy and ambiguities. This is caused by the character’s experiences, as they largely aggravate human discomfort and “question traditions and expectations when they seem too immutable.” (Azar Nafisi). The greatest of human discomforts is the conflict of moral pluralism, which evokes ethical ambiguities and sympathy for those who have transgressed. In the novel, Notes on a Scandal, the character Bathsheba Hart takes on an explicit and exploitive affair with one of her students, a boy at the tender age of thirteen. Q3 (122). It is evident that Sheba’s moral dilemma has started to take presence, as she tries to tame her inner urges to society’s inference of legality. Bathsheba’s affair makes her morally incompetent. The absence of her judgement leads her to perpetuate her affair with Connolly. This affair becomes unsettling because it perturbs the moral framework of those observing it. Q5 (201) Bathsheba raises an important question. Why shouldn’t you transgress, if you have earned the right? All her life she has been morally sound as a daughter, wife and mother. Has she not earned the right to lust? To answer this question, it is imperative to examine the social context of which the affair has taken place. In Bathsheba’s case, it is illegal and greatly looked down upon. But the reasoning she proposes for her actions expand on the idea of moral diversity. It is exploring these extremities

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