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. While Zorba and the narrator are in the shop, who runs past the window?
(a) A paper boy.
(b) A fellow miner.
(c) A beautiful widow.
(d) A juggler.

2. What are Zorba's beliefs about the existence of God?
(a) He is a Christian.
(b) He believes in a higher power but not in religion.
(c) He looks to Anagnosti for all of his religious questions and shares his beliefs.
(d) He does not personally believe in God but believes religion is essential to civilization.

3. Under what conditions does Zorba say that Noussa left him?
(a) She mysteriously vanished.
(b) She eloped with a soldier.
(c) She went back to her home village to care for her sick mother.
(d) She committed suicide.

4. In Chapter 13, Zorba demonstrates his dedication to what?
(a) The narrator.
(b) Madame Hortense.
(c) His "honest" wife.
(d) His immediate passions.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Who takes charge when the work begins in the mine?

2. What happens at the celebration in Chapter 5?

3. When the narrator meets some young women on his first day in Crete, how do the girls respond?

4. What body part is Zorba missing a part of?

5. What does the narrator's manuscript become for him?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What does Zorba's version of God look like?

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

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

8. What does Zorba represent in the story?

9. How does the narrator reveal that he is like his grandfather?

10. Why is the narrator going to Crete?

Multiple Choice Answer Key

1. C
2. D
3. B
4. D
5. A

Short Answer Key

1. Who takes charge when the work begins in the mine?

Zorba.

2. What happens at the celebration in Chapter 5?

The castration of pigs.

3. When the narrator meets some young women on his first day in Crete, how do the girls respond?

Fearfully.

4. What body part is Zorba missing a part of?

Finger.

5. What does the narrator's manuscript become for him?

A war-like attempt to completely remove the prophet from his soul.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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. What does Zorba's version of God look like?

Zorba claims to be an atheist, but he does tell the narrator that God is likely a more outrageous version of himself for whom forgiveness is not difficult, and who does not want to be worshiped.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. How does the narrator reveal that he is like his grandfather?

He remembers his grandfather demanding that guests tell him their personal stories of adventure so that he could experience the thrill through their stories. This is similar to the narrator in that the adventures for both occur removed from the action and inside the head and ideas of the two.

10. 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.

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