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

Human management of the desire for material things and other people is a central crux of the characters' experiences.

Part 1) How does Zorba suggest that intense desire be sated?

• How is this similar to the narrator's act of writing the Buddha Manuscript?

• Do you think there is more value in lust for abstract philosophizing than in lust for the material world? Or vice versa?

• Are they equally gluttonous attitudes?

Part 2) Zorba notes that all of the monks strongly desire some material thing.

• How does he encourage them to handle their desires?

• Does he encourage Demetrios and Gavrili to handle their lusts similarly?

• Does Zorba's attempt at getting a deal on the land support his theories on desire and satisfaction or contradict them?

Part 3) How do the men at the monastery symbolize the struggle between Zorba and the narrator? Do the bishop's great theories on religion and the abbot's business ventures make the men more like Zorba or more like the narrator?

Essay Topic 2

In the beginning of the story, the narrator is reading a book called The Dialogue of Buddha and the Shepherd, which encourages the virtue of possessing nothing. By the end of the story, he has exorcised the Buddha as an inhabitant of the Void where abstract and unhelpful thinking occurs.

Part 1) How does the appearance of his reading material foreshadow the narrator's experience?

Part 2) Describe the asset that the narrator discovers to be most essential to life. Is this asset truly a possession?

Part 3) Describe Zorba's relationship with possessions. Would he consider his experiences to be his possessions?

Essay Topic 3

Dualism is an important part of Zorba the Greek. Wherever one theory or way of being is presented, a counter theory exists.

Part 1) When the villagers kill the widow, how are they subverting Zorba's definition of women?

• Which of the two ways of thinking is more accurate?

• How might these extremes support the author's overall intention?

Part 2) How do Zorba and Hortense view their relationship to one another?

• Does Hortense's view of her own past match the way Zorba recounts her history?

• Does Zorba see himself as the partner to her that she sees in him?

• How do their opposing views ultimately affect their relationship?

• Why is she so fixated on marrying Zorba?

Part 3) Do you think that the Buddha has been completed or destroyed for the narrator at the end of the story?

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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