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. Who tells Gradus Disa's estate is empty?

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

3. Gradus misinterprets a coded message from headquarters. What does he think his orders are?

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

5. Why does Kinbote think Russians are gloomy?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. How does Kinbote summarize Canto Four?

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

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

9. Why does Kinbote embrace organized religion?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the assonance and consonance in the poem "Pale Fire." How does Nabokov use these literary tools throughout the poem?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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