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Invitation to a Beheading Summary
Vladimir Nabokov

Everything you need to understand or teach Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov.

  • Invitation to a Beheading Summary & Study Guide
  • 2 Literature Criticism
  • ...and more
  • 30 Invitation to a Beheading Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
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Invitation to a Beheading Summary

Plot Summary

Cincinnatus C. is a prisoner, condemned to death and awaiting his beheading for a crime that he doesn't fully understand. Cincinnatus isn't condemned for doing anything; instead, he's condemned for being different from everyone else. That difference seems embodied in the strange, dream-like quality of the world he lives in, a world that seems conjured up by his own mind. At the moment of his beheading, Cincinnatus realizes the strange control he has over the world and dissolves his own cage and oppressors.

As the novel begins, Cincinnatus is sentenced to death and locked in a towering prisoner on top of a mountain. Cincinnatus has never fit in with the rest of the world. Even as a child, others could see that Cincinnatus's soul was "opaque," not "transparent" like everyone else's. Cincinnatus learns to hide his deficiency, and he becomes a kindergarten teacher and marries a woman, Marthe...

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Study Pack

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Invitation to a Beheading Study Guide

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Invitation to a Beheading Lesson Plans contain 125 pages of teaching material, including: