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 did Charles Kinbote do with the cat?
(a) He gave it to the maid.
(b) He accidentally poisoned it.
(c) He gave it to John Shade as a birthday gift.
(d) He wrote a poem about it.

2. What was John Shade's "first book" as mentioned in Canto Four?
(a) Dim Gulf.
(b) Nite Rote.
(c) Lolita.
(d) Hebe's Cup.

3. How do the people of Zembla aid in King Charles' flight?
(a) They dress like him to serve as decoys.
(b) They fight off the Extremists.
(c) They create a distraction with a hot air balloon.
(d) They provide Charles refuge along the way.

4. Kinbote notes that the poem alludes to what fictional character?
(a) Shakespeare's Henry VIII.
(b) King Charles.
(c) Sherlock Holmes.
(d) Lolita.

5. John Shade vows to further explore what in Canto Two?
(a) The Zemblan Kings and their Gods.
(b) The depths of human consciousness.
(c) Reincarnation vs. heaven and hell.
(d) The possibility of an afterlife.

Short Answer Questions

1. Of the following, which most accurately describes the lines in the first stanza of Canto One?

2. John Shade is skeptical but he wants to believe in what?

3. What is the first metaphor Shade uses to describe himself?

4. What are the two most important things in Shade's life?

5. What typically goes on at the I.P.H.?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Briefly describe the supernatural occurrences in Canto Two.

4. Describe John Shade's daughter.

5. How is Kinbote critical of Professor Hurley?

6. What is significant about the bird in Canto One?

7. What clues do you see that Charles Kinbote may not be what he seems?

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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