Study Guide

Pale Fire Topics for Discussion

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Compare John Shade to Charles Kinbote. How are the two characters similar or different?

Compare Charles Kinbote to Gradus. How is Kinbote like his fictitious murderer?

Compare Charles Kinbote to King Charles. How is Kinbote similar to and different from his alter-ego?

Why does Nabokov choose to give only Charles Kinbote's untrustworthy account of himself?

Why does Nabokov choose to structure his novel untraditionally, as if it is commentary on a poem?

What is the significance of the names Nabokov chooses for his characters and places? Include the names "New Wye," "Kinbote," "Shade," "Zembla," and "Gradus."

How are reflection, translation, and the derivation of names similar to each other? Why are these three elements recurring motifs in the novel?

What is the meaning of "pale fire" as the title of Shade's poem, and how does it differ from the meaning of "pale fire" as the title of...

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This section contains 181 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Pale Fire Study Guide
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