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 is the best part of Canto Four?

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

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

4. King Charles was only able to love the queen______.

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens when Gradus and his commanders try to send coded messages?

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

3. Why does Kinbote embrace organized religion?

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

5. How does Kinbote summarize Canto Four?

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

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

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

9. How does Kinbote portray Hazel, and the scene in the barn?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Compare Kinbote's actions to those of Gradus. How are these two characters similar?

Why do you think Kinbote describes Gradus the way he does in the commentary to Line 171?

Do you find this description ironic? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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