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. In this section, Kinbote gives an extended, negative critique of what?

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

3. In what state does Kinbote arrive as Shade begins his last batch of index cards?

4. Who does John Shade address in line 246 which ends " dear"

5. At his hotel Gradus receives orders from headquarters telling him to do what?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Why does Kinbote embrace organized religion?

6. Who does Disa mirror in Kinbote's life?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In the foreword, Kinbote suggests that the novel be read in a unique way.

How does he feel the novel should be read?

Why does he think it should be read this way?

What are your immediate thoughts on the narrator after he suggests this?

Why do you think Nabokov chooses to have Kinbote make this suggestion?

Essay Topic 3

Using specific examples from the book, describe how Nabokov uses color and climate to describe the setting and characters in Pale Fire, both in the poem and in the commentary.

Do you think this is effective? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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