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 pact do the narrator and his best friend make before parting?
(a) They agree to one day own a lignite mine together.
(b) They agree to fight in the war together.
(c) They agree to telepathically warn one another of danger.
(d) They agree to a double wedding when they reunite.

2. How does the narrator depict Madame Hortense?
(a) As intensely beautiful.
(b) Witchy.
(c) Dangerous.
(d) Comically and unattractively.

3. What are the names of Zorba's two "half-honest" lovers?
(a) Madame Hortense and Anagnosti.
(b) Alexandra and Diana.
(c) Sophia and Cecilia.
(d) Sophinka and Noussa.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Why does Zorba travel to town in Chapter 12?

2. What happens at the celebration in Chapter 5?

3. What has historically impacted Crete and the Cretan people more than anything else?

4. Where is the narrator sitting and thinking at the beginning of the story?

5. In Chapter 13, Zorba demonstrates his dedication to what?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How might Madame Hortense's romantic history challenge Zorba's concept of his own manliness?

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

6. In Chapter 3, how are the relationships between men and women on Crete exhibited?

7. 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?

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

9. What does Zorba do while in Candia?

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

Multiple Choice Answer Key

1. C
2. D
3. D
4. C
5. B

Short Answer Key

1. Why does Zorba travel to town in Chapter 12?

To buy supplies for the mine.

2. What happens at the celebration in Chapter 5?

The castration of pigs.

3. What has historically impacted Crete and the Cretan people more than anything else?

Wars.

4. Where is the narrator sitting and thinking at the beginning of the story?

In a bar.

5. In Chapter 13, Zorba demonstrates his dedication to what?

His immediate passions.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. How might Madame Hortense's romantic history challenge Zorba's concept of his own manliness?

Zorba believes in living for the day and that any impediment to freedom and manliness should be removed. Because he thinks sexual relationships are the ultimate in the physical life, he is helpless against the force of her own history. She has been romanced by legendary and powerful men, and Zorba cannot do anything to remove them as competitive forces from his own life. He offers to take on Canavaro's role in her life, but he has no power or awareness of how to actually fulfill that role.

5. 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.

6. In Chapter 3, how are the relationships between men and women on Crete exhibited?

In the beginning of the chapter, the narrator's encounter with the young women in the country exhibits the historical impact of war and violence on the male/female relationship. They are immediately frightened of him as a stranger, and so their encounter is stunted. Mavrandoni's offer to let the men stay in his house to avoid the scandal of staying with a woman also exhibits a level of division and acceptable interaction between men and women.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

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