Lolita is the memoir of its protagonist, Humbert Humbert. He has consciously set about to explain and justify his criminal sexual conduct with a young girl and his murder of the even more perverse Clare Quilty, who had urged Lolita to make pornographic films. Despite his perversity, Humbert insists that he truly loves Lolita.
Having visited New England to rent a room in which to pursue his scholarly interests, Humbert enters the home of Charlotte Haze. He marries her, apparently to get closer to her daughter Lolita, who celebrates her twelfth birthday on January 1, 1947. Only a month into their marriage, Charlotte is struck and killed by a car, and Humbert goes to a summer camp to retrieve Lolita. Ignorant of her mother?s death, she almost immediately kisses and embraces Humbert until they register at a hotel. As it turns out, however young she is, the knowledgeable Lolita actively seduces Humbert at The Enchanted Hunters. Only after having sex with her does Humbert tell her that her mother is dead. Lolita is comforted, if not satisfied, with new clothes and the gifts he has brought her, and with the fact that she has no place else to go.
Knowing that he is legally in jeopardy, Humbert takes Lolita on a year-long, twenty-seven-thousand-mile jaunt across the United States lasting from August, 1947, to August, 1948, so that he can maintain his relationship with her for as long as possible. Upon their return to the East and her entry into school, Humbert grows jealous of her more natural relationships with her peers.
Later, when Lolita runs off with, or is kidnaped by, Quilty, Humbert takes up with Rita, an alcoholic divorcee. Lolita/Dolly marries Richard F. Schiller, is impregnated, and Later dies in childbirth in Gray Star, a capital city eight hundred miles from New York City (Nabokov is purposely vague here).
Meanwhile, having found Dolly Schiller and given her four thousand dollars, Humbert gains enough information to set upon the trail of Quilty with the intention of murdering him. Humbert finds him in a castle. After chesslike sparring, Humbert fills Quilty full of lead with a gun lent to him by Gaston Godin. Then, with a great sense of freedom, he drives away, deliberately courting arrest and exposure of his guilt by driving on the wrong side of the road.
- Lolita (lolita)