Norman Fairclough’s Textually Oriented Discourse Analysis in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita

Pegah Sheibeh, Reza Deedari


The present study is an attempt to use “textually oriented discourse analysis” of Norman Fairclough, (1941), to offer a new reading of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita (1955). The researcher found it quite appropriate to read the chosen work through Fairclough’s stylistic and discursive features in order to represent the identities of the main characters. Nabokov’s works represent an important portrayal of discursive challenges in the post-war American society that is largely invested in Fairclough’s theory. One of the most apparent aspects in Nabokov’s works is that of social identity and subject formation. As discourse theory denotes, a subject 'misrepresents' the world in ideology because he wants to do so, because there is some reward or benefit to him in doing so. Similarly Humbert Humbert in Lolita is looking for an imaginary world by which he can hide his suppressed identity. He fakes a new identity for himself through fiction. Considering the style of narration in Lolita, some reader consider Humbert as an unreliable narrator, he sometimes makes up some events and in some parts of the story he seems insane and uncertain. In Lolita Nabokov tries to show that each individual creates his/her reality and do not reflect reality. Humbert narrates his personal story from his point of view which might be different from people around him. Reality in Nabokov’s perspective is subjective and mixture of memory and imagination.



Department of English Literature, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Alborz, Iran

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