Faith and the Clerical Perpetrator of
Child Abuse

Johanna Merry
Stanley Kubrick 1962 film, Lolita, based on Vladimir Nabokov’s
groundbreaking novel,1
is both sensitive, offensive, and thereby
controversial. While Nabokov tries to get inside the perverted
soul of the main character, Humbert, the film traces the wretched
consequences of Humbert’s poisonous infatuation with the young
girl, his guilt and turmoil. Though not explicitly stated, we are left
to assume that Humbert developed this paedophilic behaviour in
response to a lost love at the time of his own pubescence. When
fourteen years old he fell in love with a girl his own age; the
two developed an intense puppy love for each other, but the girl
suddenly dies of typhus a few months later. The shock of her death
froze something in him: ‘I kept looking for her.’ The passion was in
the wound … and the wound would not heal. The storyline narrates
Humbert’s fixation, his struggle to recapture the innocence and
pleasure associated with that first love.

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