Pale Fire Test | Final 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. Who does John Shade address in line 246 which ends "...my dear"

2. Which of the following best describes the queen's initial feeling about King Charles when they meet after his escape?

3. In this section (Lines 597-608), Charles Kinbote spies on a conversation between John Shade and whom?

4. Charles Kinbote writes a brief play about what event?

5. Whose letter reveals the king's location to Gradus?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is ironic about Kinbote criticizing Shade for using a title from another work for one of his own books?

2. What happens when Gradus and his commanders try to send coded messages?

3. When does Kinbote finally merge with King Charles as written in the Commentary?

4. Comment on a few similarities between Charles Kinbote and King Charles.

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

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

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

8. What does Kinbote think about John Shade's lack of religion?

9. What does Kinbote relate to the death of Hazel?

10. What do you think of Kinbote's disregard for psychoanalysis?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Cite specific examples of supernatural events in the novel Pale Fire.

How does Nabokov incorporate both real and phony supernatural events (such as fake seances) into the novel?

Why do you think he chooses to handle these events in such a manner?

What does this accomplish?

Essay Topic 2

Compare the way Charles Kinbote portrays himself vs. the way he is viewed by others. Based on his actions, how would you describe the "real" Charles Kinbote? Based on your description of Kinbote, and the difference in the way he is perceived by others compared to his view of himself, write an essay commenting on Nabokov's choice to have a person like this narrate the story instead of writing the novel with a third-person omniscient narrator describing Kinbote, his treatment of "Pale Fire" and his relationships with the other characters in the novel.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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