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. How many times did Kinbote find Zembla directly mentioned?

2. According to Kinbote, what is Gradus doing while John Shade is composing Canto Four?

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

4. Kinbote claims some people on campus said he resembles which of the following people?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

At what point in the novel did you suspect Charles Kinbote was not mentally sound?

How does his dementia progress throughout the novel?

How does his grasp of reality change the way you perceive the events of the novel?

Do you think Zembla is a real place in the world created by Nabokov in Pale Fire, or a figment of Charles Kinbote's imagination?

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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