Short Answer Key
1. Where is the narrator sitting and thinking at the beginning of the story?
In a bar.
2. What does the narrator remember his friend teasing him about?
Being a bookworm rather than an adventurer.
3. What part of the narrator's friendship with his absent friend is he sad about?
The two argued rather than expressing love.
4. What pact do the narrator and his best friend make before parting?
They agree to telepathically warn one another of danger.
5. What is the name of the new friend the narrator makes at the beginning of the novel?
6. Who does the narrator hire to help him mine lignite on the island?
7. What does Zorba promise the narrator upon the initiation of their friendship?
He promises to cook him soup and play him music.
8. What or who does the narrator live for?
9. What or who does Zorba live for?
Man as individual.
10. What or who does the narrator's long-time friend live for?
11. What reason does Zorba give for having attacked his old boss?
He offers no excuse or reason.
12. What exclamation does the first chapter conclude with?
"God and the Devil!"
1. What body part is Zorba missing a part of?
2. Why does Zorba say he removed the body part?
It got in the way of his pottery.
3. The narrator warn Zorba that such passions may lead to the removal of what body part?
The sexual organs.
4. What is the primary message in the book that the narrator is reading?
It emphasizes the virtue of possessing nothing.
5. Zorba tells the narrator stories about the island. What kind of events does he describe?
Wars and revolutions.
6. Who do Zorba and the narrator stay with on their first night on the island?
7. With whom does Zorba begin a romance?
8. What act has Zorba performed that symbolizes the connection between freedom and manliness?
He cut part of his finger off because it got in the way of his pottery.
9. Why does the narrator say that the sexual organs may get in the way of freedom?
He says that being promiscuous can keep a man from going to heaven.
10. What is the ultimate physical experience for Zorba?
11. Although the narrator remains unnamed, what does Zorba call the narrator?
12. How does Zorba suggest that a man best get to know the world?
He suggests that a man spend some time being savage and sinful.
1. What does the narrator do on his first morning in Crete?
He takes a stroll through the countryside.
2. When the narrator meets some young women on his first day in Crete, how do the girls respond?
3. In Chapter 3, what is the narrator reading when Zorba asks him to come in for lunch?
4. Who is the second person to offer the narrator and Zorba lodging in Crete?
The village elder.
5. Who were Madame Hortense's four great loves?
Four admirals from England, France, Italy, Russia.
6. Which of her lovers' names does Madame Hortense's parrot repeat?
7. What has historically impacted Crete and the Cretan people more than anything else?
8. Zorba tells the story of an old man who will what?
9. How does Zorba live his life?
He lives like every day is his last.
10. When Zorba and the narrator refuse Mavrandoni's offer of hospitality, what does he say about them?
He says they are free to choose.
11. Who does Zorba offer to take the place of in Madame Hortense's world?
12. How many places does Zorba set the dinner table for on their first night on Crete?
1. In Chapter 4, what does the narrator do when he first awakens?
Smokes a pipe.
2. To whom does the narrator's soldier friend say his greatest actions will be owed credit?
3. What does Zorba tell the narrator he should have done before going to bed the night before in chapter 4?
He says the narrator should have told Dame Hortense how beautiful she is.
4. As the narrator gets to know the mine workers, what does he talk to them about?
5. What does Zorba do when he hears his boss talking to the workmen?
He throws his boss out of the mine.
6. What does Zorba think is the best way to run the mine?
7. What is one of the narrator's goals at the end of Chapter 4?
He wants to forget about Buddha.
8. What is the narrator's second goal at the end of Chapter 4?
He wants to be more grounded in the physical world of men.
9. What does Zorba say that his 80 year-old grandmother wanted?
She wanted to be serenaded.
10. What does the narrator remember his grandfather doing?
He demanded stories from his guests.
11. How does Zorba believe a man should treat a woman?
He should tell her she's beautiful no matter what.
12. Who takes charge when the work begins in the mine?
1. What happens at the celebration in Chapter 5?
The castration of pigs.
2. What story does Anagnosti tell at the celebration?
The tale of his birth.
3. Why does Zorba tell the narrator not to preach equality of the sexes?
He says it will disrupt the island's way of life without offering solutions for making it better.
4. What does Zorba indicate would be the worst thing the narrator could do to Anagnosti?
Cast down his religion.
5. What does the narrator begin doing late one restless night in Chapter 5?
He begins the writing of his manuscript.
6. What are Zorba's beliefs about the existence of God?
He does not personally believe in God but believes religion is essential to civilization.
1. In regards to food, what three categories does Zorba say that the three different types of men turn their food into?
Fat and manure, work and good humor, and God.
2. In which category does Zorba think his boss strives for with his food?
3. What does Zorba consider the act of dancing to be?
4. What is the great plan that Zorba reveals to the narrator in Chapter 6?
He wants to develop a cable system for transporting timber.
5. What does the narrator mostly do while Zorba works in the mine?
He works on his writing.
6. How does Zorba feel about women?
He does not take them seriously but enjoys them physically.
1. What is Zorba's response when the narrator asks him how many times he has been married?
Once honestly and twice half-honestly.
2. What does Zorba mean when he describes being married "dishonestly"?
Any sexual adventure.
3. How did Zorba temporarily keep track of his sexual relationships?
He cut off a lock of each lover's hair.
4. What are the names of Zorba's two "half-honest" lovers?
Sophinka and Noussa.
5. At the feast at Noussa's house, what does Zorba say happened after he gave the toast?
6. Under what conditions does Zorba say that Noussa left him?
She eloped with a soldier.
1. In a letter to his friend, what does the narrator say his friend inspired him to do?
Pursue a life of physical action.
2. How does the narrator end the letter to his friend in Chapter 8?
He tells him that he has love for him.
3. Why does Zorba suggest that the narrator should burn his library?
Because his books don't celebrate nature enough.
4. While Zorba and the narrator are in the shop, who runs past the window?
A beautiful widow.
5. Who reports that a widow has lost her sheep and is offering a reward for it?
6. Who does Zorba suggest that the narrator romantically pursue?
1. How does Zorba describe God?
He describes him as a crazier and wilder version of himself.
2. What happens at the mine in Chapter 9?
3. About what does Zorba confront the miners?
Failing to get their picks before exiting.
4. What does the narrator do when Zorba displays frustration with the miners?
He calls a lunch break.
5. Why does Zorba watch the widow's home?
He wants to make sure she is not going to bed alone.
6. What happens to Zorba that he believes to be a terrible omen?
A priest crosses his path.
1. What makes the narrator want the widow even more?
He has a brush with death.
2. With what does the narrator compare his lustful feelings for the widow to?
The temptation of Buddha by the Evil One.
3. What does Zorba tell the narrator that God would rather him do?
God would rather him visit the widow than go to church.
4. With whom do the narrator and Zorba enjoy Christmas Eve dinner?
5. What incident on the beach mellows the narrator's restlessness?
He accidentally kills a butterfly.
6. What reason does the narrator give in his argument that Zorba should not pressure him to visit the widow?
Acting impulsively is against his nature.
1. In Chapter 11, what does the narrator do when he sees the widow?
Nothing. He is unable to approach her.
2. What painting does Zorba present to Madame Hortense?
A painting of her as a siren leading battleships.
3. What does Zorba's gift prompt Madame Hortense to do?
Talk about her love affairs.
4. Who does Zorba blame for Madame Hortense's promiscuity?
5. How does Zorba treat women for the most part?
He is mostly very kind.
6. How does the narrator depict Madame Hortense?
Comically and unattractively.
1. What does the narrator decide about the poetry he has always loved?
It is worthless and does not relate to the true human experience.
2. With what does the narrator begin to equate Buddha?
The Void and the end of civilization.
3. What does the narrator's manuscript become for him?
A war-like attempt to completely remove the prophet from his soul.
4. Why does Zorba travel to town in Chapter 12?
To buy supplies for the mine.
5. Who does the narrator receive letters from in Chapter 12?
His old friend and Karayannis.
6. While Zorba is away, who invites the narrator to visit Africa?
1. In a letter to the narrator, Zorba indicates that he has a devil living inside of him who is like Zorba in every way except what?
It refuses to grow old.
2. Who does Zorba meet while in Candia?
A young woman.
3. What does the narrator request of Zorba when he remains in Candia for longer than expected?
He requests that he return immediately.
4. In Chapter 13, Zorba demonstrates his dedication to what?
His immediate passions.
5. Why does Zorba begin to feel restless and depressed while in Candia?
He realizes he's aging.
6. How does Lola refer to Zorba?
1. What message does the narrator tell Madame Hortense that Zorba has sent from Candia?
He tells her that Zorba has proposed marriage to her.
2. Why does Pavli commit suicide?
He was in love with someone not in love with him.
3. Whose death is sought after to avenge Pavli's death?
4. How does Zorba describe proposal and marriage?
As "the trap."
5. Who publicly defends the accused and attempts to break up the mob which seeks justice for Pavli's death?
6. What gift does Mimiko deliver from the accused in Pavli's death?
A basket of oranges.
1. What does the narrator come across while walking on the mountain path?
The ruins of a Minoan city.
2. When the narrator meets an old man on the trail, where does the man ask if he's headed?
3. What supposedly happens to the Martyred Virgin once every year?
It bleeds from a chiseled wound.
4. The narrator disagrees with the way the old man on the mountain trail does what?
The old man does not treat his wife as an equal.
5. What is the narrator's topic of conversation with the Mother Superior?
6. In Chapter 15, what does the narrator momentarily believe is his last obstacle to freedom?
1. What startling news does Zorba receive when he returns from Candia?
He learns that he is expected to propose to Madame Hortense.
2. How does Zorba feel about the narrator's false promises made while Zorba was in Candia?
He is angry but willing to follow through on the promise.
3. How does Zorba change his appearance while in Candia?
He dyed his hair black.
4. In Chapter 16,what type of power does the narrator attempt to describe?
The power of the mind concentrated on one thing.
5. On what activity does the narrator try to instruct Zorba in Chapter 16?
6. Upon his return from Candia, what does Zorba encourage the narrator to quickly get started on?
The timber rail project.
1. From whom must Zorba and the narrator rent land for the timber rail project?
Monks at the monastery.
2. Who do Zorba and the narrator meet as they climb the mountain?
3. What is the statue of Our Lady of Revenge notorious for?
Killing an Algerian army.
4. What does Demetrios want to show Zorba and the narrator?
His clay nun.
5. How does Zorba say that he gets rid of intense longings?
Stuffing himself gluttonously with the desired thing.
6. Who does Zorba say is having a sexual relationship with his student?
1. How do the negotiations over land between Zorba and the abbot begin?
The abbot tries to charge more money than agreed upon.
2. For what action is Zorba trying to make up for by his actions in Chapter 18?
Spending all of the narrator's money in Candia.
3. What startles the narrator from his sleep at the monastery?
A gun shot.
4. How does the narrator respond to the bishop's theories on religion?
"Those theories may save many souls."
5. Who mocks the bishop's theories?
6. What happens to Gavrili in the night at the monastery?
He is murdered by his lover.
1. What does Madame Hortense want from Zorba in Chapter 19?
To be married immediately.
2. What gift does Madame Hortense present to Zorba when he returns from the monastery?
A pair of wedding rings.
3. Why does Zorba refuse to sleep with Madame Hortense in Chapter 19?
It is lent.
4. In pleasing Madame Hortense, to whom does Zorba compare himself?
5. How does Zorba compare to Hortense's former lovers in her eyes?
He is not as exotic.
6. What does the narrator say about Hortense becoming a bride?
It takes away from her allure as a widow.
1. Before going to bed the night before beginning work on the railway, what does the narrator ask Zorba if he's ever done?
Fought in a war.
2. What does Zorba say prompted him to quit the army?
Seeing the orphans of a priest he killed.
3. After rescuing Zorba from being captured, what happens to the widow in his war story?
She dies when Zorba sets her village on fire.
4. What good omen marks the narrator and Zorba's morning on the day work is to begin on the railway?
White flowers blooming outside their window.
5. For what do the villagers gather to watch in Chapter 20?
Zorba celebrates the beginning of the railway construction.
6. In his story, what does Zorba's grandfather tell the old soldier about the piece of wood he gives him?
He says it's part of the True Cross.
1. What do the narrator and Zorba do on Easter Sunday?
Make a feast for Madame Hortense.
2. Who does the narrator see as he is walking toward the village on Easter?
3. For what action does Zorba grow proud of the narrator?
The narrator finally pursues the widow.
4. Why does the narrator call a doctor on Easter?
Madame Hortense has grown very ill.
5. Why does the narrator feel like he can forget about the Enlightened One?
He has finished his Buddha Manuscript.
6. After sleeping with the widow, what does the narrator realize?
"The soul is flesh as well."
1. What causes the Easter celebration to abruptly stop?
The widow enters the church.
2. Who claims the right to pronounce judgment on the widow regarding Pavli's death?
3. Who fights the mob leader in an attempt to save the widow?
4. Who kills the widow and how is it done?
Mavrandoni cuts her head off.
5. Which character reveals that he had a son who died at the age of three?
6. Who challenges Zorba to a knife fight near the widow's garden?
1. What does Zorba learn when he awakens from a dream in Chapter 23?
Madame Hortense is dying.
2. Who waits outside for Hortense to die in order to loot her belongings?
3. When she dies, who brings the officials to inventory Madame Hortense's belongings?
4. Who does Zorba adopt when Hortense dies?
5. Who closes Hortense's eyes when she dies?
6. Who attempts to cheer Zorba up following the death of Hortense?
1. What does Zorba ask the narrator to explain to him in Chapter 24?
Death and why people die.
2. What causes Zorba to become infuriated after Hortense's death?
The narrator does not have the answers to his questions.
3. Who does Zorba claim was Hortense's greatest lover?
4. What news does the monk Zaharia bring in Chapter 24?
He has burned down the monastery.
5. Who does Zaharia say inspired his mission?
6. What concept does the narrator come up with when formulating his ideas about death?
1. What miracle do the monks come down from the mountain to share?
The Holy Virgin of Revenge has killed Zaharia.
2. What happens when the first log is tested on the new railway?
The whole structure shakes and the log is destroyed along the way.
3. What happens when the fourth log is tested on the rail system?
The entire system collapses.
4. What language does Zorba teach the narrator in chapter 25?
5. After receiving a letter from his friend in Chapter 25, who does the narrator warn when he feels a sense of danger?
His soldier friend.
6. When the narrator loses everything, what does he find?
1. What does the narrator promise to binge on so that he no longer desires it?
2. What does the narrator tell Zorba that they will one day build?
The monastery of free men.
3. When he arrives in Candia, what news does the narrator receive?
His friend Stavridaki has died.
4. What does Zorba invite his old boss to come and see in Chapter 26?
A beautiful green stone.
5. What does the narrator inherit from Zorba?
6. What does Zorba suggest the narrator will need to become completely free?
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