Lolita Historical Context

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Traditional attitudes about sex began to change during the 1950s—the time in which Lolita appeared and just after the period in which Humbert and Lolita were sexually intimate. Dr. Alfred Kinsey's reports on the sexual behavior of men and women (1948, 1953) helped bring discussions of this subject out in the open. Although many Americans clung to puritanical ideas about sexuality, they could not suppress questions that began to be raised about what constituted normal or abnormal sexual behavior. Movie stars like Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot, who openly flaunted their sexuality, intrigued the public; and Playboy magazine, begun in 1953, gained a wide audience. Hugh Hefner, publisher of the magazine, claimed that the magazine's pictures of naked women were symbols of "disobedience, a triumph of sexuality, an end of Puritanism." Playboy itself promoted a new attitude toward sexuality with its "playboy philosophy" articles and its...

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This section contains 619 words
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Buy the Lolita Study Guide
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Lolita from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.