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 the narrator remember his friend teasing him about?
(a) Renting a lignite mine.
(b) Being too short.
(c) Having family from Italy.
(d) Being a bookworm rather than an adventurer.

2. 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.

3. Who do Zorba and the narrator stay with on their first night on the island?
(a) A monk.
(b) Dame Hortense.
(c) A young boy.
(d) A village elder.

4. While Zorba is away, who invites the narrator to visit Africa?
(a) Zorba.
(b) Karayannis.
(c) His soldier friend.
(d) The narrator's older brother.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What reason does Zorba give for having attacked his old boss?

3. How does Zorba believe a man should treat a woman?

4. What or who does Zorba live for?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Zorba do while in Candia?

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

4. How does the fact that Zorba is missing half of his finger relate to his connection between manliness and freedom?

5. When Zorba tells the story of the old man who will never die, what does this show about his own and the narrator's perspectives on life and death?

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

7. When the narrator observes Zorba's ease with problem solving in Chapter 5, what figures come into his mind?

8. What does Zorba represent in the story?

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

10. Why is the narrator going to Crete?

Multiple Choice Answer Key

1. D
2. B
3. B
4. B
5. A

Short Answer Key

1. 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.

2. What reason does Zorba give for having attacked his old boss?

He offers no excuse or reason.

3. How does Zorba believe a man should treat a woman?

He should tell her she's beautiful no matter what.

4. What or who does Zorba live for?

Man as individual.

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

Zorba.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. How does the fact that Zorba is missing half of his finger relate to his connection between manliness and freedom?

Zorba says that he cut part of his finger off because it got in the way of making pottery. He argues that anything that gets in the way of man doing what he wants should be removed. Because it takes a great deal of physical and mental courage to remove a body part, the connection for Zorba is strong.

5. When Zorba tells the story of the old man who will never die, what does this show about his own and the narrator's perspectives on life and death?

Neither the narrator nor Zorba come to a conclusion about how one should live one's life. Zorba clearly lives as though each day is his last, in opposition to the old man in his story. The narrator is uncertain and contemplative about life and death and seems to change his mind slightly as he is influenced by different thinking.

6. 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.

7. When the narrator observes Zorba's ease with problem solving in Chapter 5, what figures come into his mind?

The narrator realizes that Zorba's mind is not stressed with education and that his problem solving is a result of his connection with the physical world. He compares Zorba to Alexander the Great cutting through the Gordian knot with his sword. His notes that it is difficult to miss with feet planted firmly and held by the weight of the entire body. This leads him to compare Zorba to the serpent worshiped by Africans. He notes that anything so connected with and touching the earth constantly must be superior in its understanding of the earth's workings.

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. 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.

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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