Pale Fire Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Kinbote Russians search for what Zemblan treasure?

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

3. What does the name "Kinbote" mean?

4. According to Kinbote, where did the Queen go when Zembla was invaded?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the way Nabokov uses flashbacks in the novel Pale Fire. How many instances are there? How do flashbacks help propel the plot? How would this story have been different if it were written in present tense?

Essay Topic 2

In the commentary to Line 171 Gradus, the assassin, is said to have had a job at a glass factory.

Could this be a figment of Charles Kinbote's imagination, and if so why would Kinbote make up such a job for the assassin?

Why do you think Nabokov chose to have Kinbote give Gradus this job?

Why does Nabokov choose to have Kinbote portray Gradus as a failure at this job?

Does it matter if Gradus really had such a job?

Use specific examples from the text to support your claims.

Essay Topic 3

Make a list of names Charles Kinbote attributes to people and places in Zembla.

What do you notice about these names?

What do these names tell us about Kinbote, and potentially about Zembla?

Why do you think Nabokov chose to name these places the way he did?

(see the answer keys)

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