Pale Fire Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. King Alfin the Vague was an amateur______ .

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

3. Who is King Charles' grandfather?

4. Charles Kinbote "mercifully " attributes this name to one professor, perhaps due to his green jacket.

5. John Shade comes to the realization that he can not find what at the I.P.H.?

Short Essay Questions

1. Briefly describe John Shade's vision of the after-life.

2. Name some sports at which Kinbote is proficient.

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

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

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

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

7. What is Kinbote's secret?

8. How are Gradus and Kinbote similar?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare Kinbote's actions to those of Gradus. How are these two characters similar?

Why do you think Kinbote describes Gradus the way he does in the commentary to Line 171?

Do you find this description ironic? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the assonance and consonance in the poem "Pale Fire." How does Nabokov use these literary tools throughout the poem?

Essay Topic 3

On pages 100-107 in the commentary on line 71: Parents, Kinbote describes King Alfin the Vague.

Compare what is known of Kinbote to this point in the story with his portrayal of King Alfin.

What function or functions does King Alfin serve?

(see the answer keys)

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