Study Guide

Writing Techniques in Pale Fire

This Study Guide consists of approximately 52 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Pale Fire.
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There are three parallel lines of plot in Pale Fire, which follow the three major characters: Shade, Kinbote/ Charles the Beloved, and Jack Grey/ Jakob Gradus. The three plot lines intersect in Shade's murder (which occurs immediately after he has finished the poem); however, the way in which the intersection is to be interpreted depends entirely on which interpretation of the novel's "reality" one relies on.

The chief reason for the "unreadability" of Pale Fire is that the reader discovers very early on that Kinbote's commentary, at least on the surface, has essentially nothing to do with Shade's poem. This discrepancy creates the impression that Kinbote is an unreliable narrator, an impression which is sustained throughout the novel as Kinbote inadvertently lets slip a suppressed awareness of other characters' opinions of him. Thus, the reader is denied any assurance that he can believe the narrator, or even that he...

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This section contains 674 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Pale Fire Study Guide
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