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. Why does Zorba begin to feel restless and depressed while in Candia?
(a) He has fallen in love.
(b) He realizes he's aging.
(c) He has suddenly become afraid of mining.
(d) He is going to be a father.

2. Who does Zorba blame for Madame Hortense's promiscuity?
(a) God.
(b) Her mother.
(c) Her father.
(d) A priest.

3. What or who does Zorba live for?
(a) Man as individual.
(b) God.
(c) Mankind.
(d) Mining.

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

5. Why does the narrator say that the sexual organs may get in the way of freedom?
(a) He says that clothing that doesn't fit correctly restricts freedom.
(b) He says that being promiscuous can keep a man from going to heaven.
(c) He says that the need to have children keeps people from living full lives.
(d) He says that sexual thoughts can keep a person from being productive.

Short Answer Questions

1. What happens to Zorba that he believes to be a terrible omen?

2. What does Zorba tell the narrator that God would rather him do?

3. What does Zorba tell the narrator he should have done before going to bed the night before in chapter 4?

4. Why does Zorba say he removed the body part?

5. What does the narrator request of Zorba when he remains in Candia for longer than expected?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. When the narrator makes an attempt to get to know some of the mine workers, he begins to discuss socialism with them. Zorba does not like this. What are his reasons?

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

4. Describe the painting that Zorba presents to Madame Hortense.

5. 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?

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

7. Describe Zorba's only account of his heart being broken.

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

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

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

Multiple Choice Answer Key

1. B
2. A
3. A
4. A
5. B

Short Answer Key

1. What happens to Zorba that he believes to be a terrible omen?

A priest crosses his path.

2. What does Zorba tell the narrator that God would rather him do?

God would rather him visit the widow than go to church.

3. What does Zorba tell the narrator he should have done before going to bed the night before in chapter 4?

He says the narrator should have told Dame Hortense how beautiful she is.

4. Why does Zorba say he removed the body part?

It got in the way of his pottery.

5. What does the narrator request of Zorba when he remains in Candia for longer than expected?

He requests that he return immediately.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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.

2. When the narrator makes an attempt to get to know some of the mine workers, he begins to discuss socialism with them. Zorba does not like this. What are his reasons?

Zorba believes that supervising a workforce requires complete authority. He thinks it's better if they believe they have fewer rights and that workers who feel like they are equal to their bosses will eventually take rights away from their bosses.

3. 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.

4. Describe the painting that Zorba presents to Madame Hortense.

The painting has four huge battleships on it in red, gold, gray, and black, each with a flag from one of four countries: England, France, Italy, and Russia. Leading the battleship as a siren was Madame Hortense, naked with a yellow ribbon around her neck and holding four strings attached to the ships.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Describe Zorba's only account of his heart being broken.

Zorba met a woman named Noussa ten days after leaving the village of his previous lover. Noussa invited him to her house for a feast at which Zorba gave a toast. After this, the lights went out and a massive orgy began. He lost Noussa in the midst of the orgy but found her the next day, and they remained together for 6 months. She then eloped with a soldier and broke Zorba's heart.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

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