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. 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.

2. How does Zorba describe God?
(a) He describes him as "ether."
(b) He likens him to the mine.
(c) He describes him as a crazier and wilder version of himself.
(d) He describes him as peaceful and quiet.

3. What does the narrator's manuscript become for him?
(a) A blueprint for redesigning the mine.
(b) A meditation on finding true peace.
(c) A guideline for feeling comfortable in the Void.
(d) A war-like attempt to completely remove the prophet from his soul.

4. How does Zorba feel about women?
(a) He does not take them seriously but enjoys them physically.
(b) He feels closer to them than he does to men.
(c) He doesn't speak to them but looks constantly for a wife.
(d) He believes they are intellectually superior to men.

5. How many places does Zorba set the dinner table for on their first night on Crete?
(a) 3
(b) 4
(c) 1
(d) 2

Short Answer Questions

1. How does the narrator depict Madame Hortense?

2. What or who does the narrator's long-time friend live for?

3. What happens at the mine in Chapter 9?

4. Who do Zorba and the narrator stay with on their first night on the island?

5. What reason does the narrator give in his argument that Zorba should not pressure him to visit the widow?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Zorba encourages the narrator to be more like he is and pursue the widow, how does this contradict Zorba's other advice?

2. What does Zorba represent in the story?

3. Describe the narrator's counter argument to Zorba's connection between manliness and freedom regarding his missing finger?

4. What does Karayannis's letter from Africa remind the narrator that he has always wanted to do?

5. How does the narrator describe Zorba the first time he sees him dancing?

6. Describe the narrator's memory of his old friend while on their visit to the museum.

7. Discuss the two goals that the narrator sets for himself at the end of Chapter 4? How is this a shift from the beginning of the story?

8. Describe the narrator's relationship with his old friend.

9. Do you think the narrator has actually lost all interest and faith in poetry as he claims in Chapter 12? How so?

10. What significance does the fact that Madame Hortense is a widow have toward the theme of manliness?

Multiple Choice Answer Key

1. C
2. C
3. D
4. A
5. A

Short Answer Key

1. How does the narrator depict Madame Hortense?

Comically and unattractively.

2. What or who does the narrator's long-time friend live for?

Mankind.

3. What happens at the mine in Chapter 9?

It collapses.

4. Who do Zorba and the narrator stay with on their first night on the island?

Dame Hortense.

5. 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.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. When Zorba encourages the narrator to be more like he is and pursue the widow, how does this contradict Zorba's other advice?

Previously, Zorba told a parable about a crow who tries to walk like a pigeon, reinforcing his idea that one must remain true to his true and individual identity. Zorba's disappointment with the narrator when he is unable to be the man of sensuality that Zorba is, contradicts this parable to some extent.

2. What does Zorba represent in the story?

Zorba represents a man who lives for the physical world and ultimately for the individual self in that world. He is an agent of instinct and lacks theoretical reason for his actions. For the narrator, Zorba is a potential symbol of freedom in the narrator's quest to find freedom.

3. Describe the narrator's counter argument to Zorba's connection between manliness and freedom regarding his missing finger?

The narrator argues that although such passions are admirable, they could also possibly lead to the desire to remove more crucial body parts. He suggests that Zorba might eventually want to remove his sexual organs, which would have a much more life-altering and drastic result.

4. What does Karayannis's letter from Africa remind the narrator that he has always wanted to do?

He has a desire to see and touch as much of the world as he possibly can before he dies.

5. How does the narrator describe Zorba the first time he sees him dancing?

The narrator says Zorba looks like he is wearing rubber shoes. He also says that Zorba's soul looks like it is trying to fling his body like a meteor into the darkness.

6. Describe the narrator's memory of his old friend while on their visit to the museum.

The narrator's old friend told him of his love for a painting by Rembrandt; a painting he says he will owe his greatest accomplishments to. As they are leaving the museum, they see a bird land on a statue of an Amazon and begin singing. The narrator asks what it might mean, and the friend recites a few lines that encourage the narrator not to bother himself with such thoughts.

7. Discuss the two goals that the narrator sets for himself at the end of Chapter 4? How is this a shift from the beginning of the story?

The narrator wants to rid himself of Buddha and the abstract thinking that comes along with Buddha. He also wants to be completely present in the physical world of men. He has wanted to find this physicality since the beginning of the story when his old friend's words inspire him to seek such a life, and begin his journey to Crete. Originally, he was completely invested in philosophizing as well. However, the fact that he wants to exorcise Buddha from his thinking is a definite shift in his character.

8. Describe the narrator's relationship with his old friend.

The narrator and his friend have a deep connection and love for one another. However, the connection is largely unspoken as the two men often argue rather than express emotion to one another. The soldier friend is more of an adventurer than the narrator, and often teases the narrator for being such a bookworm. The two men contrast one another; the narrator is more of a philosopher who is focused on a higher power, while the friend is a soldier who believes in living his life for his fellow man and his nation. The connection between the two men, despite their differences, is clear in their agreement to send mental messages to one another if they sense danger. This obviously indicates that they believe strongly in their connection and friendship.

9. Do you think the narrator has actually lost all interest and faith in poetry as he claims in Chapter 12? How so?

No. When the narrator says of the Buddha, "I must mobilize words and their necromantic power...invoke magic rhythms; lay siege to him, cast a spell over him and drive him out of my entrails! I must throw over him the net of images, catch him and free myself!" he demonstrates a transformation in the way he sees poetry. He sees it less as contemplation and more as a physical act of using language. His use of the craft has changed, but it is untrue that he no longer has use for it as he so claims.

10. What significance does the fact that Madame Hortense is a widow have toward the theme of manliness?

Madame Hortense is a character on whom Zorba and the narrator choose instantly to rely upon for shelter. The fact that she is completely devoid of Zorba's "manliness" (as a widowed woman) and has outlived her four great lovers, admirals who could be classified as the most manly of all men, speaks to a contrasting energy of freedom neither articulated by the narrator nor by Zorba.

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