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. Who helps King Charles escape?
(a) Charles Kinbote.
(b) John Shade.
(c) Oleg.
(d) Odon.

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

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

4. What is the name of John Shade's aunt?
(a) She is never mentioned by name.
(b) Sybil.
(c) Maude.
(d) Hazel.

5. Charles Kinbote wants the reader to see the image of who/what after reading the lines 131-132, "I was the waxing slain by feigned remoteness in the windowpane?"
(a) John Shade's blackouts.
(b) Gradus.
(c) Himself.
(d) Sybil Shade.

Short Answer Questions

1. John Shade recites his poetry to one person prior to its publication. Who is that person?

2. The first draft of "Pale Fire" was composed on a series of index cards. How many index cards did the author use?

3. What does Kinbote do during John Shade's birthday party?

4. When did John Shade begin Canto Two?

5. What happened to Shade's parents when he was a boy?

Short Essay Questions

1. Give some examples of translation as a theme in Canto One.

2. Briefly describe Fleur.

3. Name some sports at which Kinbote is proficient.

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

5. How does Nabokov immediately create an artificial reality in the foreword to the novel Pale Fire?

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

7. Cite an early clue that Charles Kinbote is an unreliable narrator.

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

9. What does John Shade ponder in the beginning of Canto Two?

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

(see the answer keys)

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