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. With what does the narrator compare his lustful feelings for the widow to?
(a) The widow's garden.
(b) Walking on the beach at night.
(c) The temptation of Buddha by the Evil One.
(d) Not ever finding any lignite in the mine.

2. In Chapter 3, what is the narrator reading when Zorba asks him to come in for lunch?
(a) Shakespeare.
(b) Virgil.
(c) The Bible.
(d) Dante.

3. With what does the narrator begin to equate Buddha?
(a) The onset of true peace.
(b) The Void and the end of civilization.
(c) Successful mining operations.
(d) A new, evolved civilization.

4. What does Zorba think is the best way to run the mine?
(a) A voting system.
(b) Cruel authority.
(c) Bonus awards.
(d) Volunteer work.

5. Why does Zorba travel to town in Chapter 12?
(a) To find a new job.
(b) To buy supplies for the mine.
(c) To buy Madame Hortense many fine gifts.
(d) To hire a prostitute.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the narrator's second goal at the end of Chapter 4?

2. What does Zorba consider the act of dancing to be?

3. How does Lola refer to Zorba?

4. What are Zorba's beliefs about the existence of God?

5. What makes the narrator want the widow even more?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Do you think Zorba's description of dance as a language is accurate? In other words, does the narrator understand what Zorba means by his erratic dancing?

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

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

5. What does Zorba represent in the story?

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

7. Explain the parrot's role in the life of Madame Hortense and her guests.

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

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

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

Multiple Choice Answer Key

1. C
2. D
3. B
4. B
5. B

Short Answer Key

1. What is the narrator's second goal at the end of Chapter 4?

He wants to be more grounded in the physical world of men.

2. What does Zorba consider the act of dancing to be?

Communication.

3. How does Lola refer to Zorba?

Grandad.

4. What are Zorba's beliefs about the existence of God?

He does not personally believe in God but believes religion is essential to civilization.

5. What makes the narrator want the widow even more?

He has a brush with death.

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. Do you think Zorba's description of dance as a language is accurate? In other words, does the narrator understand what Zorba means by his erratic dancing?

Zorba says that he had so much joy that he had to let it out somehow and dancing was the best way to let the explosion loose. The dancing reminds the narrator of a story he made up about how his grandfather died. He told friends that the old man bounced on rubber shoes until he disappeared into the clouds. This does exhibit some understanding. The narrator associates the dancing with a great release of energy although he cannot clearly name it.

3. 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.

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. 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.

6. 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.

7. Explain the parrot's role in the life of Madame Hortense and her guests.

Hortense's parrot is a constant reminder of Madame Hortense's greatest love. As a possession, it has been trained to say Canavaro's name repeatedly and therefore to challenge the immediacy of Zorba's manliness.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

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