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. What are the two most important things in Shade's life?
(a) His job as a professor and his wife.
(b) His poetry and his wife.
(c) His Zemblan heritage and his wife.
(d) His wife and Charles Kinbote.

2. The first draft of "Pale Fire" was composed on a series of index cards. How many index cards did the author use?
(a) 334.
(b) 166.
(c) 80.
(d) 4.

3. Where was the foreword written?
(a) Cedarn, Utana.
(b) New Wye.
(c) Russia.
(d) Zembla.

4. When did John Shade begin Canto Two?
(a) July 4th.
(b) On his wedding anniversary.
(c) July 5th.
(d) On the anniversary of his daughter's death.

5. Where do the Shade's travel to take their minds off their daughter's death?
(a) France.
(b) Zembla.
(c) Italy.
(d) New Wye.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who does Kinbote blame for not receiving an invitation to John Shade's birthday party?

2. During what time of day does John Shade prefer to write?

3. While he makes his way through the mountains, King Charles stops to spend the night in which of the following places?

4. Which of the following best describes a recurring theme in the first Canto?

5. How did King Alfin the Vague die?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Charles Kinbote portray himself in the foreword?

2. What is Kinbote's secret?

3. What does John Shade ponder in the beginning of Canto Two?

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

5. Briefly describe Fleur.

6. How is Kinbote's birthday gift for Shade representative of Kinbote's commentary of the poem?

7. Give some examples of translation as a theme in Canto One.

8. How does John Shade understand life?

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

10. Briefly describe John Shade's vision of the after-life.

(see the answer keys)

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