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 Kinbote the Shades' vacation destination?

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

3. Who circulated a letter objecting to Charles Kinbote editing "Pale Fire?"

4. On what date does John Shade compose lines 797-809?

5. Who does John Shade address in line 246 which ends "...my dear"

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does Kinbote summarize Canto Four?

5. What does Kinbote think about John Shade's lack of religion?

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

7. Briefly recount Gradus' experience on the day he killed Shade, as told by Kinbote.

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Using specific examples from the book, describe how Nabokov uses color and climate to describe the setting and characters in Pale Fire, both in the poem and in the commentary.

Do you think this is effective? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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