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. What does Zorba do when he hears his boss talking to the workmen?
(a) He asks his boss to record the men's work hours.
(b) He throws his boss out of the mine.
(c) He asks his boss to get them lunch.
(d) He tells his boss that they are lazy.

2. With whom do the narrator and Zorba enjoy Christmas Eve dinner?
(a) Mimiko.
(b) The widow.
(c) Madame Hortense.
(d) Buddha.

3. What does Zorba consider the act of dancing to be?
(a) Sexual.
(b) Competition.
(c) Entertainment.
(d) Communication.

4. What reason does the narrator give in his argument that Zorba should not pressure him to visit the widow?
(a) Acting impulsively is his nature and he's trying to change.
(b) Acting impulsively is against his nature.
(c) He needs to stay focused on his writing.
(d) He doesn't want to hurt the widow's feelings.

5. What does the narrator decide about the poetry he has always loved?
(a) It is worthless and does not relate to the true human experience.
(b) It is a foundational part of his sophisticated world view.
(c) It helped him get through his youth but is of little value now.
(d) It should be banned and removed from all libraries.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who does Zorba suggest that the narrator romantically pursue?

2. In Chapter 4, what does the narrator do when he first awakens?

3. Why does the narrator say that the sexual organs may get in the way of freedom?

4. Who reports that a widow has lost her sheep and is offering a reward for it?

5. How did Zorba temporarily keep track of his sexual relationships?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Zorba do while in Candia?

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

3. Explain the parrot's role in the life of Madame Hortense and her guests.

4. Why is the narrator going to Crete?

5. How does Zorba's version of the devil living inside him compare to Zorba himself?

6. 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?

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

8. At the conclusion of Chapter 2, do you think Zorba or the narrator has a more realistic outlook on how to live life?

9. Describe the first time that the narrator sees the widow.

10. How does the narrator try to get the widow out of his mind at the beginning of Chapter 10?

Multiple Choice Answer Key

1. B
2. C
3. D
4. B
5. A

Short Answer Key

1. Who does Zorba suggest that the narrator romantically pursue?

The widow.

2. In Chapter 4, what does the narrator do when he first awakens?

Smokes a pipe.

3. 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.

4. Who reports that a widow has lost her sheep and is offering a reward for it?

Mimiko.

5. How did Zorba temporarily keep track of his sexual relationships?

He cut off a lock of each lover's hair.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. What does Zorba do while in Candia?

He meets a young girl with whom he has an affair. He also spends all of the boss's money.

2. 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.

3. Explain the parrot's role in the life of Madame Hortense and her guests.

Hortense's parrot is a constant reminder of Madame Hortense's greatest love. As a possession, it has been trained to say Canavaro's name repeatedly and therefore to challenge the immediacy of Zorba's manliness.

4. Why is the narrator going to Crete?

The narrator is curious about the adventurous life his friend preached to him. He is going to Crete to experiment with such a life by renting a lignite mine and thus engaging more with the physical world. His overall goal in these actions is to find freedom through a marriage of the mind and body.

5. How does Zorba's version of the devil living inside him compare to Zorba himself?

Zorba says that the devil is a mirror image of himself. The only difference is that the devil refuses to grow old. He also wears a red carnation behind his ear.

6. 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.

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. At the conclusion of Chapter 2, do you think Zorba or the narrator has a more realistic outlook on how to live life?

I think that they have very different perspectives as distinct as two different languages. Zorba's outlook might be easier on a day-by-day basis as his doesn't require a lot of thinking through of various options and looks directly to instinct and passion. The narrator's perspective might be the more "realistic" however, in that it takes a much broader look at the many elements and their complex arrangements which come together to inform life.

9. Describe the first time that the narrator sees the widow.

The narrator and Zorba duck into a cafe in the middle of a rainstorm, and from here, they see the widow run past the window. The narrator immediately finds her beautiful, although there are a variety of responses to her presence, not all of them positive. Soon after, Mimiko enters and reports that the widow has lost her sheep and offers a reward to anyone who can help return it to her.

10. How does the narrator try to get the widow out of his mind at the beginning of Chapter 10?

The narrator views the widow as a temptation of the Evil One and focuses on writing his Buddha Manuscript in order to exorcise her image and the lust he feels for her from his mind. To him, his writing is comparable to the force of savages facing beasts with their spears.

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