Annabel Leigh

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Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee is a character in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. Annabel Lee is present throughout the novel: she is named numerous times, Annabel Leigh seems to be created after the character from the poem of the same name, and there are multiple comparisons between Annabel Leigh, Lolita and Annabel Lee right from the beginning of the novel. Poe’s “Annabel Lee” is very important when analyzing the novel. There are multiple allusions to the poem: “kingdom by the sea” (Nabokov 167), “princedom by the sea” (9) and “noble-winged seraphs” (9), but there is also direct quotation of it as well: “my darling –my darling– my life and my bride” (47). The theme of eternal love and possession is present in both texts. In Poe’s, the narrator will…show more content…
Annabel Leigh’s character, even though she is only mentioned and never speaks in the novel, is of great importance, as it is her who marks a young Humbert, making him a nymphet lover and incapable of loving anyone during his youth (14). But Annabel Lee is also mentioned almost as much as her half-English half-Dutch counterpart. She is present since the beginning of the novel when Humbert evokes her last name while writing the pronunciation of Lolita: “Lo-lee-ta” and “Lo. Lee. Ta.” (9) This instance is only the first time Humbert blends Annabel Lee and Lolita. He also does it less subtly when he takes Lolita to the beach: “Annabel Haze, alias Dolores Lee, alias Loleeta” (167). Moreover, he seems to be confusing both Annabel Lee and Annabel Leigh as he also mentions “Miss Lee” (167). It is in that paragraph he mentions the “Kingdom by the Sea” and says “the angels knew it” (167). Humbert blends Lolita and Annabel Lee due to the similarities they share. Annabel Leigh seems to be a reconstruction of Annabel Lee, and as Humbert expresses, he reincarnated her lost Annabel in Lolita (15). Another commonality between the three girls is that all of them died. Lolita died literally after Humbert did, but the nymphet Lolita had died before Humbert found her married and pregnant. Even though she had died, Humbert kept loving her,

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