Chapter 17 Summary

Humbert knows that his readers will probably feel judgmental about the way he handles Mrs. Haze’s proposal. Addressing his readers as his “jury,” he launches into a full confession of his thoughts and motives. He admits that, even before meeting the Hazes, he entertained occasional vague daydreams of marrying a widow in order to gain access to her child. However, he never seriously considered that course of action with Charlotte Haze until confronted with her letter.

After re-reading and essentially memorizing the letter, Humbert tears it up and goes back to his own room. There he paces back and forth, struggling with temptation and revulsion. He imagines being Lolita’s stepfather, being able to see her and...

(The entire section is 504 words.)