Zorba the Greek Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What story does Anagnosti tell at the celebration?

2. What is the ultimate physical experience for Zorba?

3. What is one of the narrator's goals at the end of Chapter 4?

4. Where is the narrator sitting and thinking at the beginning of the story?

5. What has historically impacted Crete and the Cretan people more than anything else?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why is the narrator going to Crete?

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

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

5. How does the narrator try to get the widow out of his mind at the beginning of Chapter 10?

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

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

8. What feelings does Zorba express about religion?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The santuri instrument is an important symbol throughout the novel. It is one of many modes of expression between the two main characters.

Part 1) What does the santuri symbolize in terms of language?

Part 2) What is the significance of the fact that Zorba brags about his talent on the instrument yet will only play it when he's in the mood?

Part 3) Why do you think the santuri is the object left to the narrator when Zorba dies?

Essay Topic 2

One theme throughout the story is that God and the devil may be one and the same creature.

Part 1) How does the narrator's writing of the Buddha Manuscript exhibit this theme?

Part 2) How does the atheist Zorba's description of both God and the devil support this theme?

Part 3) What does this mean in the narrator's search for ultimate "freedom"?

Essay Topic 3

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?

Short Answer Key

1. What story does Anagnosti tell at the celebration?

The tale of his birth.

2. What is the ultimate physical experience for Zorba?

Sex.

3. What is one of the narrator's goals at the end of Chapter 4?

He wants to forget about Buddha.

4. Where is the narrator sitting and thinking at the beginning of the story?

In a bar.

5. What has historically impacted Crete and the Cretan people more than anything else?

Wars.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. How does the narrator try to get the widow out of his mind at the beginning of Chapter 10?

The narrator views the widow as a temptation of the Evil One and focuses on writing his Buddha Manuscript in order to exorcise her image and the lust he feels for her from his mind. To him, his writing is comparable to the force of savages facing beasts with their spears.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

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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