Zorba the Greek Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Zorba tells the story of an old man who will what?
(a) Play a musical instrument when happy.
(b) Never die.
(c) Never leave Crete.
(d) Cook a delicious soup.

2. What is the name of the new friend the narrator makes at the beginning of the novel?
(a) The Devil.
(b) Crete.
(c) Zorba.
(d) Santuri.

3. Why does Zorba watch the widow's home?
(a) He wants to protect her from Mimiko.
(b) He wants to make sure the narrator is not sneaking into her house.
(c) He wants to steal from her.
(d) He wants to make sure she is not going to bed alone.

4. In Chapter 3, what is the narrator reading when Zorba asks him to come in for lunch?
(a) The Bible.
(b) Shakespeare.
(c) Dante.
(d) Virgil.

5. To whom does the narrator's soldier friend say his greatest actions will be owed credit?
(a) The narrator.
(b) Rembrandt's "Warrior."
(c) His father.
(d) Sampson from the Bible.

Short Answer Questions

1. What or who does Zorba live for?

2. At the feast at Noussa's house, what does Zorba say happened after he gave the toast?

3. What painting does Zorba present to Madame Hortense?

4. What is one of the narrator's goals at the end of Chapter 4?

5. With whom does Zorba begin a romance?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Madame Hortense actually think of Zorba?

2. Describe what happened while Zorba was at war that changed his mind about judging a person based on nationality.

3. What is the irony of Zorba comparing himself to Zeus in Chapter 19?

4. What evidence of artistic inspiration does the narrator find in the ruins of the old city? How does he feel when he sees it?

5. Why do you think the narrator's good friend, the soldier, is not named until his death?

6. What kinds of responsibilities does Zorba take on at the initiation of his friendship with the narrator.

7. How does the narrator's memory of the butterfly impact his feelings about approaching the widow?

8. Describe Zorba's categories of marriage and how many of each he's experienced.

9. What does Zorba say about women when the narrator reveals that he has proposed to Madame Hortense on his behalf?

10. What does Zorba say about the act of crying when Madame Hortense dies?

Multiple Choice Answer Key

1. B
2. C
3. D
4. C
5. B
    

Short Answer Key

1. What or who does Zorba live for?

Man as individual.

2. At the feast at Noussa's house, what does Zorba say happened after he gave the toast?

An orgy.

3. What painting does Zorba present to Madame Hortense?

A painting of her as a siren leading battleships.

4. What is one of the narrator's goals at the end of Chapter 4?

He wants to forget about Buddha.

5. With whom does Zorba begin a romance?

Dame Hortense.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. What does Madame Hortense actually think of Zorba?

Madame Hortense thinks Zorba will make a useful husband but does not think much of him above and beyond that role. She wishes also that he were as exciting and accomplished as her former lovers.

2. Describe what happened while Zorba was at war that changed his mind about judging a person based on nationality.

While at war, Zorba murdered a Bulgarian priest who had been invading Greek villages and killing Greeks. Later, when Zorba sees the orphans of the priest, he realizes that nationality doesn't matter. Rather, "good" and "bad" are the only important classifications to consider.

3. What is the irony of Zorba comparing himself to Zeus in Chapter 19?

Zorba says that he is like Zeus in that he sacrifices his own self in order to bring women happiness. This is ironic because Zeus is traditionally considered to be lecherous towards women.

4. What evidence of artistic inspiration does the narrator find in the ruins of the old city? How does he feel when he sees it?

The narrator finds a partially finished jar carved from stone and a chisel on the ground nearby. This fills him with bitterness as he realizes the artistic inspiration has been defeated.

5. Why do you think the narrator's good friend, the soldier, is not named until his death?

It may be to emphasize the theme of the importance of human interaction and companionship. Just as the narrator is gaining the realization that human connection is essential, his friend dies and his friend's name is revealed. His friend has also fulfilled his passion, which was to serve his country. His name is then symbolically mythologized when it appears in the story.

6. What kinds of responsibilities does Zorba take on at the initiation of his friendship with the narrator.

Zorba agrees to act as foreman of the lignite mine. He also promises to cook the narrator soup and play him music on his santuri.

7. How does the narrator's memory of the butterfly impact his feelings about approaching the widow?

The narrator had attempted to help the butterfly emerge from the cocoon by blowing warm air on it. Doing this made the butterfly emerge too quickly and die. The narrator realizes while meditating on this memory, that an individual must "confidently obey the eternal rhythm." He knows, in turn, that he can't speed his relationship with the widow and must let it unfold naturally.

8. Describe Zorba's categories of marriage and how many of each he's experienced.

Zorba says he's been married "honestly," "half-honestly," and "dishonestly." He says that he's been married "honestly" or legally only once. He says that he's been "half-honestly" married, or in relationships similar to marriage that were not made formal and legal with a wedding, two times. He says that he's been "dishonestly" married a thousand times, and by this he is referring to every sexual encounter he's ever had.

9. What does Zorba say about women when the narrator reveals that he has proposed to Madame Hortense on his behalf?

Zorba says that women are delicate creatures and are unable to handle such jokes.

10. What does Zorba say about the act of crying when Madame Hortense dies?

He says that he isn't ashamed to cry in front of men because of the unity they share. He says that crying in front of women is different because it is a man's job to prove his courage when before women.

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