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. What is one major point Kinbote and Shade disagree on?

2. According to Kinbote, King Charles lands near which city?

3. Kinbote reflects on the absurdity of what?

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

5. Who is Kinbote's primary source of information on John Shade's daughter?

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 do you think of Kinbote's disregard for psychoanalysis?

3. How does Kinbote summarize Canto Four?

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

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

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

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

8. Why does Kinbote embrace organized religion?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Charles Kinbote is an unreliable narrator.

Cite specific examples of how Vladimir Nabokov portrays Kinbote as an unreliable narrator.

Do you think this tactic was effective for the story? Why or why not?

How would the novel, Pale Fire, have been different if Kinbote was a reliable narrator?

Why did Nabokov choose to portray Kinbote the way he did?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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