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 message did Gradus incorrectly give headquarters?

2. Kinbote recounts a walk with John Shade. On this walk Kinbote unsuccessfully tries to pry from Shade information about which of the following topics?

3. In this section (Lines 597-608), Charles Kinbote spies on a conversation between John Shade and whom?

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

5. Kinbote is what religion?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Why does Kinbote embrace organized religion?

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

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

9. How does Gradus learn the location of the king?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Reflection is a major motif of the fictional poem "Pale Fire," and in the novel's commentary and foreword.

Give specific examples of Nabokov's use of reflection as it pertains to looking back at past events?

How does Nabokov use reflection in terms of mirror images or opposites?

How do these two interpretations of reflection work together in Shade's writing, and Kinbote's commentary?

Essay Topic 2

Using specific examples from the novel, compile the verses of poetry that were omitted from the poem "Pale Fire."

Why do you think Nabokov chooses to include these verses in the novel, but not the poem?

Essay Topic 3

Write an argument supporting the claim that Charles Kinbote is in fact the assassin. Use examples from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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