The Power of Language: Nabokov had a strong love for language, it was his belief that proper language could enhance anything the same level as fine art. In his novel, Lolita, the use of language overpowers the shocking subject matter and perhaps even gives it a beautiful quality that it is not deserving of.
Lolita is ripe with reprehensible content, such as rape, murder, incest and pedophilia. However, in telling his story, Humbert relies on allusions, puns, and repetitive linguistic patters to tell his dark story in an persuasive way. It is obvious that, through language, Humbert is capable of seducing his readers in the same way he seduced Lolita.
The incompatibility between American and European Cultures: Throughout the book, the interaction between American and European cultures spark constant misunderstanding. Lolita’s mother, Charlotte, is an American woman drawn to the European sophistication of Humbert. She accepts him not because of who he is, but rather because she is charmed by his background.
The shortfalls of psychiatry: The passion that Humbert has for Lolita easily goes against psychological analysis, and throughout the book, Humbert can be seen mocking psychiatry’s propensity for simple, logical explanations. Ray claims that the story of Humbert and Lolita will be of keen interest in psychiatry, but in his memoir Humbert attempts to scorn the entire field of study.