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

2. Although the narrator remains unnamed, what does Zorba call the narrator?
(a) Sir.
(b) Boss.
(c) Captain.
(d) Bro.

3. What is the ultimate physical experience for Zorba?
(a) Going to war.
(b) Mining.
(c) Playing a musical instrument.
(d) Sex.

4. Who does Zorba meet while in Candia?
(a) A young woman.
(b) His former best friend.
(c) His ex-wife.
(d) His long lost brother.

5. What part of the narrator's friendship with his absent friend is he sad about?
(a) He thinks his friend will find a new best friend.
(b) The two got into a fist fight before his friend left.
(c) The two argued rather than expressing love.
(d) He thinks his friend hates him.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who does the narrator hire to help him mine lignite on the island?

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

3. The narrator warn Zorba that such passions may lead to the removal of what body part?

4. Under what conditions does Zorba say that Noussa left him?

5. What or who does Zorba live for?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. 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?

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 the narrator's counter argument to Zorba's connection between manliness and freedom regarding his missing finger?

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

8. What is Zorba's account of God's creation of woman?

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

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

Multiple Choice Answer Key

1. D
2. B
3. D
4. A
5. C

Short Answer Key

1. Who does the narrator hire to help him mine lignite on the island?

Zorba.

2. 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.

3. The narrator warn Zorba that such passions may lead to the removal of what body part?

The sexual organs.

4. Under what conditions does Zorba say that Noussa left him?

She eloped with a soldier.

5. What or who does Zorba live for?

Man as individual.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

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 the narrator's counter argument to Zorba's connection between manliness and freedom regarding his missing finger?

The narrator argues that although such passions are admirable, they could also possibly lead to the desire to remove more crucial body parts. He suggests that Zorba might eventually want to remove his sexual organs, which would have a much more life-altering and drastic result.

7. 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.

8. What is Zorba's account of God's creation of woman?

Zorba says that when God removed the rib from Adam, the devil turned into a snake and snatched the rib and ran off with it. God then chased the devil and caught him, but the devil ultimately got away while God was left holding only his horns. God then made woman out of the devil's horns rather than the rib of Adam.

9. 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.

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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