Study Guide

Vladimir Nabokov Writing Styles in Pale Fire

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Point of View

The first-person narrator of the commentary is Charles Kinbote, and he proves himself to be unreliable. The narrative reveals that Kinbote lives a complex fantasy existence where he believes himself to be the exiled king of Zembla. Because so much of Kinbote's narrative is a self-invented fiction, all of Kinbote's narration is called into question. The reality of the commentary is not an objective reality, but the reality that exists inside Charles Kinbote's head. As the narrative unfolds, Kinbote uses a third-person semi-omniscient narrative style to tell the stories of King Charles, giving the king's personal thoughts as well as private actions, leading the reader to believe that Kinbote actually is King Charles.

Further into the commentary, Kinbote uses a similar third-person semi-omniscient style to tell the story of Gradus's search for King Charles. When Kinbote gives the details of Gradus's thoughts and actions, the reader...

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This section contains 1,193 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Pale Fire Study Guide
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