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. In Chapter 4, what does the narrator do when he first awakens?

2. What painting does Zorba present to Madame Hortense?

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

4. What or who does Zorba live for?

5. Who does Zorba blame for Madame Hortense's promiscuity?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

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. At the conclusion of Chapter 2, do you think Zorba or the narrator has a more realistic outlook on how to live life?

6. What kinds of responsibilities does Zorba take on at the initiation of his friendship with the narrator.

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

8. How does the fact that Zorba is missing half of his finger relate to his connection between manliness and freedom?

9. What reasons does Zorba give in Chapter 9 for so intensely wanting the narrator to go and sleep with the widow?

10. 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?

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

Several occurrences dovetail into the final exorcism of the Buddha.

Part 1) The death of Madame Hortense coincides with the narrator's affair with the widow and his completion of the manuscript.

• How might Hortense's death symbolize the death of the Buddha? Was Hortense physically present in life?

• Could her fantasies about past lovers and her role as a siren be categorized as a part of the "Void"?

• What kind of symbolic import does the looting of her belongings have on the theme of the Buddha?

Part 2) Zorba ultimately encourages the narrator to pursue the widow. Describe the outcome of the physical intimacy.

• Do you believe that physical intimacy could free the narrator from his philosophizing?

• Does the narrator adopt Zorba's ideas about physical intimacy? Should he?

Part 3) Do you think the narrator is completely finished with the Buddha when he finishes the manuscript? Provide evidence to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Zorba's relationship with Madame Hortense challenges everything he believes about women and relationships.

Part 1) How is Madame Hortense similar to Zorba's generalization of all women? How is she different?

Part 2) Zorba waffles between insisting that men are in service to women and that women are inferior to men.

• In what way does Madame Hortense situate him strictly as a service person?

• How does Zorba respond to this?

Part 3) Do you think Madame Hortense is settling for Zorba?

• Is Zorba settling for her?

• Why does he agree to marry her?

Short Answer Key

1. In Chapter 4, what does the narrator do when he first awakens?

Smokes a pipe.

2. What painting does Zorba present to Madame Hortense?

A painting of her as a siren leading battleships.

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

Zorba.

4. What or who does Zorba live for?

Man as individual.

5. Who does Zorba blame for Madame Hortense's promiscuity?

God.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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. At the conclusion of Chapter 2, do you think Zorba or the narrator has a more realistic outlook on how to live life?

I think that they have very different perspectives as distinct as two different languages. Zorba's outlook might be easier on a day-by-day basis as his doesn't require a lot of thinking through of various options and looks directly to instinct and passion. The narrator's perspective might be the more "realistic" however, in that it takes a much broader look at the many elements and their complex arrangements which come together to inform life.

6. What kinds of responsibilities does Zorba take on at the initiation of his friendship with the narrator.

Zorba agrees to act as foreman of the lignite mine. He also promises to cook the narrator soup and play him music on his santuri.

7. 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.

8. How does the fact that Zorba is missing half of his finger relate to his connection between manliness and freedom?

Zorba says that he cut part of his finger off because it got in the way of making pottery. He argues that anything that gets in the way of man doing what he wants should be removed. Because it takes a great deal of physical and mental courage to remove a body part, the connection for Zorba is strong.

9. What reasons does Zorba give in Chapter 9 for so intensely wanting the narrator to go and sleep with the widow?

He says that women need men to sleep with them and protect them; that it is a part of a greater plan. He says she will be ruined if a man does not go and sleep with her. He also says that not taking the opportunity to sleep with her is one sin that God will not forgive.

10. 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.

This section contains 1,372 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Copyrights
BookRags
Zorba the Greek from BookRags. (c)2018 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook