Zorba the Greek Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 153 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.

Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What act has Zorba performed that symbolizes the connection between freedom and manliness?

2. What is Zorba's response when the narrator asks him how many times he has been married?

3. What is the name of the new friend the narrator makes at the beginning of the novel?

4. What does Zorba think is the best way to run the mine?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Describe the monastery bishop's first theory on religion.

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

5. What two major shifts happen to the narrator in Chapter 21? What major realization do these shifts spur in the narrator.

6. 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?

7. Why does Anagnosti say that Pavli is blessed?

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

9. Why is the narrator going to Crete?

10. In Chapter 16, what did the sleeping workmen do who when they heard Zorba playing his Santuri?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Zorba describes sex as the essence of paradise and not at all an impediment to gaining "freedom." Simultaneously, he describes man as a servant sent to please women sexually.

Part 1) Is Zorba's description of Zeus, a creature beaten to sexual exhaustion in his service to women, mutually exclusive to his claims of manly freedom or are they indeed one and the same?

Part 2) The narrator uses less aggression when approaching women, yet he's able to use some of Zorba's advice to good result. Do you think the teacher or the student better masters Zorba's twofold theory on sexuality?

Essay Topic 2

After Zorba's return from Candia, the narrator attempts to convince him that the power of a mind concentrated on one thing is the singular path to great accomplishment.

Part 1) How does Zorba respond to this attempted lesson?

• Is the narrator's lesson on meditation received and practiced or do both file it with the "Void"?

• Do you agree with the narrator?

Part 2) How might concentration on a single thing threaten Zorba's way of life and very existence?

Part 3) Zorba has returned from Candia with an appearance altered to look younger. This is a strange juxtaposition to the narrator's focus on meditation.

• Are there parallels in the two men's behaviors?

• Or are the simply at odds with one another?

Essay Topic 3

Zorba seems to conclude the thematic strand of the categories of men by retelling stories of war, both his own and others.

Part 1) Describe the way in which Zorba moved from patriotism, a man for his nation, to being a man of self. How might the story of the True Cross have encouraged this shift?

Part 2) Zorba admits to some heinous murders while acting as a man of patriotism. He also acknowledges extreme selfishness as a man who lives for the self.

• Do you think that one of the categorizations represented in the book might be more prone to wrongdoing? Which one and why?

• Might a man of God be just as likely to commit horrible crimes if he believed he was doing it for God?

Part 3) Zorba says he is no longer concerned with a man's nationality, only whether he is "good" or "bad."

• What would qualify as "good" to Zorba?

• Do you agree with Zorba's definition of "good"?

Short Answer Key

1. What act has Zorba performed that symbolizes the connection between freedom and manliness?

He cut part of his finger off because it got in the way of his pottery.

2. What is Zorba's response when the narrator asks him how many times he has been married?

Once honestly and twice half-honestly.

3. What is the name of the new friend the narrator makes at the beginning of the novel?

Zorba.

4. What does Zorba think is the best way to run the mine?

Cruel authority.

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

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

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Describe the monastery bishop's first theory on religion.

He believes that the shape of a flower influences its color and its color then has an influence on its properties which in turn produce a specific effect on humans. He summarizes this theory with the belief that men should be careful when walking through fields of flowers because of the peculiar effects the flowers are having on them.

4. 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.

5. What two major shifts happen to the narrator in Chapter 21? What major realization do these shifts spur in the narrator.

The narrator finally sleeps with the widow, which Zorba has been encouraging him to do for some time. The narrator also finishes the Buddha Manuscript and with it, has the realization that he has exorcised the Buddha from himself. These two shifts make it clear to the narrator that "the soul is flesh as well," or in other words the actions of his body are just as important and spiritual as the meditating and thinking to which he is accustomed.

6. 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.

7. Why does Anagnosti say that Pavli is blessed?

Pavli commits suicide by drowning, and Anagnosti says that he is blessed because he is free from the object of his desire, the widow. Anagnosti claims that Pavli could not have lived happily with or without her because he had so much passion for her but now he is at peace.

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. 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.

10. In Chapter 16, what did the sleeping workmen do who when they heard Zorba playing his Santuri?

They got up, circled around him and began dancing to the music he played.

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