Pale Fire Test | Lesson Plans 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

Reflection is a major motif of the fictional poem "Pale Fire," and in the novel's commentary and foreword.

Give specific examples of Nabokov's use of reflection as it pertains to looking back at past events?

How does Nabokov use reflection in terms of mirror images or opposites?

How do these two interpretations of reflection work together in Shade's writing, and Kinbote's commentary?

Essay Topic 2

Charles Kinbote is clearly infatuated with John Shade. What do you think Shade's feeling are towards Kinbote in general?

If you were John Shade, how would you react to Kinbote's commentary on "Pale Fire"?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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