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. According to Kinbote, what does "Ex" stand for?

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

3. What is one major point Kinbote and Shade disagree on?

4. Why did King Charles' marriage fail?

5. Kinbote describes Russian soldiers giving what to Zemblan children?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Why does Kinbote insist on meeting Shade on July 19th?

10. Why does Kinbote embrace organized religion?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The first lines of the poem "Pale Fire" portrays a bird flying into a window. Charles Kinbote interprets these lines as they may relate to John Shade's experience.

How is Charles Kinbote like a bird who flies into a window?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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