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. The phrase "pale fire" is used in the foreword to describe what?
(a) The reflection of sunlight off the moon.
(b) The snow in New Wye.
(c) Index cards burning in an incinerator.
(d) A squirrel.

2. What is the name of the secret group that sends an assassin after King Charles?
(a) The Shadows.
(b) The Extreme.
(c) The Freudians.
(d) The Marxists.

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

4. Of the following, what do John Shade and the assassin have in common?
(a) They both had aunts who were put in an asylum.
(b) They were both born in Russia.
(c) They were both Zemblan kings.
(d) They both were orphaned.

5. Where did Kinbote and Shade meet?
(a) Zembla.
(b) The library .
(c) The faculty club at lunch time.
(d) The English Department faculty lounge.

Short Answer Questions

1. Charles Kinbote thinks John Shade enjoyed more "creative freedom" during the composition of which Canto?

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

3. Why does young King Charles refuse to consummate his relationship with Fleur?

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

5. What was John Shade's "first book" as mentioned in Canto Four?

Short Essay Questions

1. Briefly compare Kinbote's Zemblan assassin story with what you perceive as the reality of the situation.

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

3. Comment on a few similarities between Charles Kinbote and King Charles.

4. Briefly recount Gradus' experience on the day he killed Shade, as told by Kinbote.

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

6. Briefly describe Fleur.

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

8. What happens when Gradus and his commanders try to send coded messages?

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

10. Briefly describe the supernatural occurrences in Canto Two.

(see the answer keys)

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