Pale Fire Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Which of the following most closely describes Kinbote's depiction by university drama students?
(a) A raving lunatic with no perception of reality.
(b) A brilliant writer and professor who is loyal to his friend John Shade.
(c) A pompus woman-hater with a German accent.
(d) A displaced Zemblan king on the run from assassins.

2. Charles Kinbote assumes John Shade wanted to write a great deal more about Zembla, but did not. Who or what does Kinbote attribute this too?
(a) John Shade's wife.
(b) Poor translation from Zemblan to English.
(c) The Shadeans.
(d) Communists.

3. What happened to Shade's parents when he was a boy?
(a) They put him up for adoption.
(b) They died.
(c) They were imprisoned.
(d) They divorced/seperated.

4. Charles Kinbote thinks John Shade enjoyed more "creative freedom" during the composition of which Canto?
(a) Canto Three.
(b) Canto Two.
(c) Canto Four.
(d) Canto One.

5. What book does King Charles find on his way out of the castle?
(a) The Bible.
(b) A book of John Shade's poetry.
(c) Romeo and Juliet.
(d) Timon of Athens.

Short Answer Questions

1. Following the death of King Charles' mother, Queen Blenda, a seance is held for what purpose?

2. Which of the following does not happen to the I.P.H.?

3. What is the name of John Shade's aunt?

4. Which of the following is not among John Shade's pet peeves?

5. The first draft of "Pale Fire" was composed on a series of index cards. How many index cards did the author use?

Short Essay Questions

1. Provide an example or two of the reflection motif found between the commentary to lines 131 and the commentary to lines 162.

2. What are a few of John Shade's pet peeves?

3. Cite an early clue that Charles Kinbote is an unreliable narrator.

4. List a few possible motivations for Shade's desire to learn more about the after-life.

5. Give examples from the text of reasons that the Extremists are unable to find King Charles once he escapes.

6. What are some early examples of reflection as a theme in the poem "Pale Fire?"

7. How does Nabokov immediately create an artificial reality in the foreword to the novel Pale Fire?

8. Briefly describe the IPH.

9. What is Kinbote's secret?

10. Give a brief synopsis of King Charles' escape.

(see the answer keys)

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