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. How many lines are in Canto Four?
(a) 166 lines.
(b) 999 lines.
(c) 334 lines.
(d) 165 lines.

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

3. Who is King Alfin the Vague's son?
(a) Dr. Sutton.
(b) Charles Kinbote.
(c) John Shade.
(d) King Charles.

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

5. John Shade's daughter is how old at the beginning of Canto Three?
(a) 18.
(b) 6 months.
(c) We don't know exactly, only that she's a small child.
(d) A senior in high school.

Short Answer Questions

1. Of the following, which most accurately describes the lines in the first stanza of Canto One?

2. What book does King Charles find on his way out of the castle?

3. Which pair best describe the prominent motifs of the first Canto?

4. What is the assassin's real name?

5. When did John Shade meet his wife?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Give examples from the text of reasons that the Extremists are unable to find King Charles once he escapes.

6. Briefly describe John and Sybil Shade's relationship.

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

8. Name some sports at which Kinbote is proficient.

9. Briefly describe King Alfin the Vague.

10. Briefly describe the supernatural occurrences in Canto Two.

(see the answer keys)

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