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. What word does Shade claim is incorrect in its meaning?

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

3. Which of the following adjectives fits Kinbote's description of the Russians as they search the castle?

4. Where does Kinbote find the term "Tangra dust?"

5. According to Kinbote, what is the best part of Canto Four?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Kinbote embrace organized religion?

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

4. Give a brief account of the events involving Disa and King Charles after the revolution.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How does Nabokov use references of other literary works in his novel Pale Fire? Give as many examples of references to other works as you can from the text, and describe what Nabokov accomplishes by including them in the novel.

Essay Topic 3

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"?

(see the answer keys)

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