Pale Fire Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Short Answer Questions

1. When did John Shade begin Canto Two?

2. Who makes sexual advances on King Charles during the commentary to line 149?

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

4. After King Charles is out of the mountains, he receives a message to go to which of the following locations?

5. King Alfin the Vague was an amateur______ .

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe John Shade's writing process.

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

3. Describe John Shade's daughter.

4. How does Kinbote respond when a professor tells him he looks like King Charles? Why might he react that way?

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

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

7. How does John Shade understand life?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Write an argument supporting the claim that Charles Kinbote is in fact the assassin. Use examples from the text.

Essay Topic 2

Make a list of names Charles Kinbote attributes to people and places in Zembla.

What do you notice about these names?

What do these names tell us about Kinbote, and potentially about Zembla?

Why do you think Nabokov chose to name these places the way he did?

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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