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 happens to John Shade's aunt?
(a) She has a stroke and is moved to a sanitarium.
(b) She has a heart attack and dies.
(c) She drowns in a lake.
(d) She falls down the stairs and breaks her hip.

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

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

4. What does Kinbote want us to believe was the catalyst for John Shade's choice to set "Pale Fire" during the winter months?
(a) Shade meeting Kinbote during the previous winter.
(b) The Zemblan King's assasination in January.
(c) Bird flying south for the winter.
(d) The great tragedy Shade has experienced during winter.

5. How does King Charles get out of the room where he is being held prisoner without being detected?
(a) He escapes through a secret passageway.
(b) He disguses himself as a guard and walks out the front door.
(c) He makes a rope ladder and climbs out the window.
(d) He seduces a guard who sets him free.

Short Answer Questions

1. How many lines are in Canto Four?

2. John Shade gives a lecture on what in Canto Three?

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

4. According to Kinbote, where did Sybil Shade relocate to upon John Shade's death?

5. Which of the following is not mentioned by Shade in Canto One?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is significant about the way Shade relates his name to the word "ombre" a French word that connotes shadows and darkness?

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

5. How does John Shade describe himself as a youth in Canto One?

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

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

8. Who does Disa mirror in Kinbote's life?

9. What does Kinbote do when he runs into Shade on the way to the doctor's office?

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

(see the answer keys)

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