Zorba the Greek Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 156 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Short Answer Questions

1. With whom does Zorba begin a romance?

2. What or who does the narrator's long-time friend live for?

3. In a letter to the narrator, Zorba indicates that he has a devil living inside of him who is like Zorba in every way except what?

4. What reason does Zorba give for having attacked his old boss?

5. What is the primary message in the book that the narrator is reading?

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

4. How does Zorba's version of the devil living inside him compare to Zorba himself?

5. What does Zorba do while in Candia?

6. What does Karayannis's letter from Africa remind the narrator that he has always wanted to do?

7. What feelings does Zorba express about religion?

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

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

10. What significance does the fact that Madame Hortense is a widow have toward the theme of manliness?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Kazantzakis injects the epistolary into the trajectory of the novel. Some of the characters express more emotion with this mode of communication, while it is simply different for others.

Part 1) The reader gets to know the narrator's soldier friend only by way of the narrator's memories and letters between the men.

• How is their relationship different in letters than it would be in person?

• What other forms of communication do the two men practice?

• Which do you think is the strongest between them?

Part 2) Zorba writes to the narrator from Candia.

• Is his expression altered, impaired, or improved upon by letter writing?

• Do the two characters grow closer through the exchange?

Part 3) Letter writing could be classified under what Zorba calls pen-pushing.

• Do you think the letter writing between the men is a less physical form of interaction than speaking?

• Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

The narrator's intuition is a powerful asset which returns to him over and over as a sort of interface between the mind, body, and soul.

Part 1) Describe how the narrator's intuition works when he fabricates a letter from Zorba to Madame Hortense.

• How is he able to come up with Zorba's private terms of endearment?

• Do you think this level of intuition is more an act of the mind, the body, the soul, or some combination of the three?

Part 2) Do you think Zorba or the narrator is the more intuitive man?

• Taking into account their respective histories, what elements might have developed intuition more in one character or the other?

• Is intuition a product of being physically present or might it have developed as compensation for indulgence in a life of books?

Part 3) The narrator also exercises his intuition when he foresees Stavridaki's peril. Look for other instances in which the narrator seems to sense reality.

• How are these different from the way that Zorba considers reality?

• Does the narrator become more or less intuitive as the novel progresses?

• Does Zorba impact this characteristic in him?

Short Answer Key

1. With whom does Zorba begin a romance?

Dame Hortense.

2. What or who does the narrator's long-time friend live for?

Mankind.

3. In a letter to the narrator, Zorba indicates that he has a devil living inside of him who is like Zorba in every way except what?

It refuses to grow old.

4. What reason does Zorba give for having attacked his old boss?

He offers no excuse or reason.

5. What is the primary message in the book that the narrator is reading?

It emphasizes the virtue of possessing nothing.

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. 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. 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.

4. How does Zorba's version of the devil living inside him compare to Zorba himself?

Zorba says that the devil is a mirror image of himself. The only difference is that the devil refuses to grow old. He also wears a red carnation behind his ear.

5. 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.

6. What does Karayannis's letter from Africa remind the narrator that he has always wanted to do?

He has a desire to see and touch as much of the world as he possibly can before he dies.

7. What feelings does Zorba express about religion?

Zorba claims to be an atheist. However, when it comes to the other villagers, Zorba believes that religion is not only important but is the center of their way of life. He warns the narrator that speaking against religion to the villagers is not wise as it is better for them than having no organized structure at all.

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. 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.

10. What significance does the fact that Madame Hortense is a widow have toward the theme of manliness?

Madame Hortense is a character on whom Zorba and the narrator choose instantly to rely upon for shelter. The fact that she is completely devoid of Zorba's "manliness" (as a widowed woman) and has outlived her four great lovers, admirals who could be classified as the most manly of all men, speaks to a contrasting energy of freedom neither articulated by the narrator nor by Zorba.

This section contains 1,262 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Copyrights
BookRags
Zorba the Greek from BookRags. (c)2019 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook