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 does not happen to the I.P.H.?
(a) It is turned into a church.
(b) It becomes more Buddhist.
(c) It becomes a place where fake seances are held.
(d) It becomes frequented by Freudians.

2. What typically goes on at the I.P.H.?
(a) People gather to discuss different species of birds.
(b) People gather to discuss Zemblan history.
(c) People gather to discuss the after-life.
(d) Poets gather to read their work.

3. The final couplet of "Pale Fire" describes what image?
(a) John Shade's daughter.
(b) A gardener pushing a wheel barrow.
(c) The Zemblan countryside.
(d) A bird flying into a closed window.

4. "Forty ounces of fine sand" describes what in Canto One?
(a) A length of time.
(b) Snow falling from the sky.
(c) The texture of a windowpane.
(d) A bird's nest.

5. John Shade gives a lecture on what in Canto Three?
(a) Death.
(b) Birds.
(c) Zembla.
(d) Poetry.

Short Answer Questions

1. What happens to John Shade's aunt?

2. How do the extremists learn the King has escaped?

3. When did John Shade begin Canto Two?

4. On what day did John Shade begin composing his poem "Pale Fire?"

5. Who helps King Charles escape?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are two major criticisms John Shade has of his students? How is this ironic?

2. How does Kinbote respond when a professor tells him he looks like King Charles? Why might he react that way?

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

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

5. What are some ways Kinbote tries to make the poem be about himself as opposed to Shade's childhood?

6. What does Kinbote write about in the commentary as the poem addresses Hazel's death?

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

8. What do you think of Kinbote's disregard for psychoanalysis?

9. Why does Kinbote embrace organized religion?

10. How does Gradus learn the location of the king?

(see the answer keys)

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