The Unreliable Narrator In Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita

Words: 1922
Pages: 8

For a short period, I was sharing a house with my roommate and boyfriend, both now former, both of them had a tendency to needlessly bed the truth for more interesting or biased stories. I found that when events occurred between the two in my absence, I would often receive two conflicting stories about what had happened. This left me to piece together the truth, which I now know often lied somewhere in the middle. These two telling these slightly, or sometimes completely, fictitious tales is an ideal real-life example of the unreliable narrator. The unreliable narrator is a regularly found tool in literature when the narrator, often first person, proves themselves to misrepresent the truth and, therefore, calls into question the believability of the narrative which they are telling. …show more content…
Humbert Humbert proves his unreliability in the ways in which frames and establishes language around the children he calls “nymphets;” furthermore, Humbert Humbert’s unreliability's is what allows Lolita to straddle both the literary movements of modernism and postmodernism but ultimately falling primarily into modernism (Nabokov 16, McHale). Framework from Brian McHale’s article “From Modernist to Postmodernist Fiction: Change of the Dominant,” will establish the qualifiers for modern and postmodern literature; following this, excerpts for Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita will prove Humbert Humbert’s unreliability as narrator and show how that novel falls into the aforementioned literary