Ethical Issues in Nabokov's "Pnin" Analytical Essay by Nicky

Ethical Issues in Nabokov's "Pnin"
A review and analysis of the ethical issues in Vladimir Nabokov's "Pnin".
# 146857 | 1,927 words | 1 source | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Jan 19, 2011 in Literature (Russian)

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The paper examines the structure of Vladimir Nabokov's "Pnin" and addresses the ethical issues in the novel. The paper shows how this novel touches on issues ranging from the seemingly mundane issue of whether or not to befriend someone who is socially awkward to weightier issues such as genocide. The paper discusses the slights and cruelties directed at Pnin but points out that it is actually Pnin who manages to triumph over the narrator. The paper then explains how, surprisingly, the novel has a happy ending.

From the Paper:

"When one mentions ethical issues in a work by Vladimir, one immediately thinks of Lolita and its main character's inappropriate relationship with a minor child. However, while trying to find an American publisher for Lolita, Nabokov published another work, Pnin, which also deals with serious ethical issues, but in an academic setting. What is most interesting about the work is that the title character, Timothy Pnin is an unremarkable man. A Russian emigrant who teaches Russian at a minor college, Pnin's life could mirror the life of hundreds of similar man. While the world of academia is described brilliantly and accurately in Pnin, it is unlikely that any of the readers believe that they will encounter any significant ethical dilemmas in the foreign-language department of a little-known college. The reader will then be surprised to discover how complex, ethically, Pnin is as a novel."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Nabokov, 1955V. (1955). Pnin. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Ethical Issues in Nabokov's "Pnin" (2011, January 19) Retrieved December 05, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Ethical Issues in Nabokov's "Pnin"" 19 January 2011. Web. 05 December. 2019. <>