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, King Charles lands near which city?

2. What ailment troubles Gradus when he arrives in New Wye?

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

4. What message did Gradus incorrectly give headquarters?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Kinbote embrace organized religion?

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

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

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

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

6. What does Kinbote do when he runs into Shade on the way to the doctor's office?

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

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

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

10. How does Kinbote summarize Canto Four?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

On pages 100-107 in the commentary on line 71: Parents, Kinbote describes King Alfin the Vague.

Compare what is known of Kinbote to this point in the story with his portrayal of King Alfin.

What function or functions does King Alfin serve?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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