Study Guide

Pale Fire - Pale Fire, Canto Two Summary & Analysis

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Pale Fire, Canto Two Summary

As a youth, Shade finds it hard to believe that no one really knows what comes after death. He vows to investigate the depths of human consciousness. Now, he's sixty-one. Shade stands before the window, cutting his fingernails. He remembers his aunt, Maud Shade.

Maud has a stroke when she is eighty and moves to a sanitarium. She is incapable of much, but she can still talk, struggling to find words in her failing mind. Shade wonders what point in life the soul regains after death. How is it determined, and by whom? Life must seem bizarre from the point of view of the afterlife, so why does anyone leave the pleasures of an afterlife to be born? Life appears meaningless and random.

Shade hears his wife Sybil upstairs and comes out of his reverie. He's known her since high school...

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This section contains 721 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Pale Fire Study Guide
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