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s his own status in order to defend his unusual attraction, referring to himself as a ‘comic, clumsy, wavering Prince Charming’ to further the illusion of the paedophilic narrator as the hero of the text, while the reference to ‘Prince Charming’ romanticises and idealises his character. Further, Nabokov’s use of the alliterative adjectives ‘comic’, ‘clumsy’ juxtapose the perfection of the ‘prince’, enhancing the deluded and contrasting portrayal of Humbert. The frequent references to the ‘Enchanted Hunter’ imply a mystical and ethereal nature to the narrator, suggesting his illusive character, while ‘hunter’ reflects a power and possession equal to that of the ‘prince’, showing the contrasting nature of his depiction. As well as this, transitions between English and French when describing the narrator are used by Nabokov to create a sense of confusion, with the line ‘I was and still am, despite mes malheurs, an exceptionally handsome male’ a clear attempt by Humbert to disguise his flaws with his shift in language, ending ultimately in a contradictory depiction of a flawed yet perfect being, which clearly implies his juxtaposing character. Such a view is furthered by the six variants of the narrator’s name during his encounter with Miss Cormorant, ‘Mr. Humbird’, ‘Dr. Humburg’, ‘Mr Humberson’, suggesting the elusive nature of Humbert and his lack of a consistent identity. In addressing him with several differing names, Nabokov clearly implies the mystical nature of his narrator, supporting the view that he encourages the reader to accept his monstrous male hero through the inconsistent portrayal of his character. Alternatively, it could be argued that Nabokov does not encourage the reader to accept his unreliable narrator in Lolita, as there are consistent reminders of his changeableness and contradictory nature. Throughout the text, there are contradictory comments on Humbert’s ability to recall his memories, ranging from explicit references to his precise retelling, ‘I remember verbatim’, implying absolute accuracy, and direct verbal presentation indicating the exact nature of his narration, to the sibilant phrase ‘I feel my slippery self eluding me’ reflecting the escaping of his memory, and diegetic speech suggesting unreliability, implying that the memoir is written for entertainment rather than accuracy. The subjective narration used by Nabokov is an evident reflection of the postmodernism era of the early 20th Century, viewing literature as fluid rather than fixed, which is reflected in Humbert’s contradictory narration. Moreover, the reader is also continuously reminded of the narrator’s poor mental health, with frequent glimpses into his present situation in a mental asylum, ‘the opaque air of this tombal jail’. This clearly evidences Humbert’s inappropriate attachment, and the reader can see nothing more than his obsessive and paedophilic character, supporting the idea that they cannot accept him. Perhaps the most explicit evidence of his insanity is shown through the character of Quincy who symbolises Humbert’s inability to focus on the reality, and whose elusive and secret nature reveals the narrator’s paranoia and clear inability to reliably narrate. As a reader, we are unable to ascertain whether Nabokov intended Quincy to be a real character in the text or rather a ‘hallucination’ of Humbert’s, suggesting the loss of plot and pacing which makes both his character and narrative difficult to grasp. However, it could be said that Nabokov’s use of elaborate language conceals
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