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 in the commentary, the queen resembles______.

2. Oswin Bretwit kicks out Gradus when he realizes Gradus is not a Royalist. What does Bretwit assume is Gradus' profession?

3. Shade refers to a book by which of the following authors in Line 384?

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

5. Kinbote claims the Russians are good at what sport?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Kinbote summarize Canto Four?

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

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

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

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

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

7. What does Kinbote relate to the death of Hazel?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Compare the way Charles Kinbote portrays himself vs. the way he is viewed by others. Based on his actions, how would you describe the "real" Charles Kinbote? Based on your description of Kinbote, and the difference in the way he is perceived by others compared to his view of himself, write an essay commenting on Nabokov's choice to have a person like this narrate the story instead of writing the novel with a third-person omniscient narrator describing Kinbote, his treatment of "Pale Fire" and his relationships with the other characters in the novel.

Essay Topic 3

Cite specific examples of supernatural events in the novel Pale Fire.

How does Nabokov incorporate both real and phony supernatural events (such as fake seances) into the novel?

Why do you think he chooses to handle these events in such a manner?

What does this accomplish?

(see the answer keys)

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