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. Which of the following best describes King Charles' marriage?

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

3. Shade refers to a book by which of the following authors in Line 384?

4. According to Kinbote in the commentary, the queen resembles______.

5. Kinbote believes who will be punished by God?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Kinbote write about in the commentary as the poem addresses Hazel's death?

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

3. How does Kinbote portray Hazel, and the scene in the barn?

4. What is odd about the way Kinbote tells the story of Gradus?

5. How does Gradus learn the location of the king?

6. Briefly summarize the conversation Kinbote overhears between Shade and Mrs. Hurley, and its relevance to "Pale Fire."

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

8. What is significant about the way Shade relates his name to the word "ombre" a French word that connotes shadows and darkness?

9. How does Kinbote summarize Canto Four?

10. How does Kinbote describe the Russian guards who are after the Zemblan Crown Jewels?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Using specific examples from the novel, compile the verses of poetry that were omitted from the poem "Pale Fire."

Why do you think Nabokov chooses to include these verses in the novel, but not the poem?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Throughout the novel, the game of chess reappears in various scenes, and is played by a variety of characters.

Cite specific examples Nabokov uses of the game of chess throughout the novel.

Why do you think Nabokov chooses to incorporate the game of chess into the novel the way he does?

(see the answer keys)

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