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. Why does young King Charles refuse to consummate his relationship with Fleur?
(a) She is ugly.
(b) She tries to steal from him.
(c) Her family is poor.
(d) He is homosexual.

2. Canto Four contains a metaphor comparing this activity to John Shade's writing process?
(a) Shaving.
(b) Bathing.
(c) Gardening.
(d) Showering.

3. King Alfin the Vague was an amateur______ .
(a) Ornothologist.
(b) Gardener.
(c) Pilot.
(d) Poet.

4. How does John Shade's daughter die?
(a) She poisons herself.
(b) She steps in front of a train.
(c) She freezes to death in a field.
(d) She drowns.

5. 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) Communists.
(c) The Shadeans.
(d) Poor translation from Zemblan to English.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the name of the secret group that sends an assassin after King Charles?

2. Which of the following most closely describes Kinbote's depiction by university drama students?

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

4. Which of the following best describes the pervading theme of Canto Four?

5. During the forward Charles Kinbote oddly notes that he is distracted by who/what?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Kinbote characterize his relationship with John Shade?

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

4. Briefly describe King Alfin the Vague.

5. Does it surprise you that John Shade renounces religion yet he wants to believe in the after-life?

6. What events lead to the death of John Shade's daughter?

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

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

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

10. Briefly describe the IPH.

(see the answer keys)

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