Zorba the Greek Test | Final Test - Hard

This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 156 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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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. When he arrives in Candia, what news does the narrator receive?

2. In his story, what does Zorba's grandfather tell the old soldier about the piece of wood he gives him?

3. Who waits outside for Hortense to die in order to loot her belongings?

4. Who does Zorba adopt when Hortense dies?

5. What does Zorba say prompted him to quit the army?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In his third theory of religion, what does the bishop give as God's reason for sending religion to the masses?

3. After the widow's murder, what happens when Zorba and Manolakas meet near the widow's garden?

4. Why do you think the narrator's good friend, the soldier, is not named until his death?

5. What does Zorba say about the act of crying when Madame Hortense dies?

6. When writing letters to Madame Hortense, what does the narrator have to do?

7. What story does Zorba tell in Chapter 20 that supports the theme that appearance creates reality?

8. What does the narrator state is the reason for Zaharia's death?

9. What was Zaharia's inspiration for burning down the monastery?

10. What does Zorba say about women when the narrator reveals that he has proposed to Madame Hortense on his behalf?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Kazantzakis seems to use destruction, as opposed to creation, as a central theme which moves both main characters away from their original states and toward something new.

Part 1) What things, ideas, and people are destroyed in the novel? Which of these seem most symbolic to you?

Part 2) What two major destructions, which also happen to be the two great "works" of the narrator and Zorba, occur almost simultaneously near the end of the book?

• Are these parallel losses?

• Is one greater than the other?

• How do these two losses make the two characters more similar to one another?

• How do they make them more different?

Part 3) Do the human deaths in the story seem to add or take away from the overall circumstances of the two main characters? Why?

Essay Topic 2

Zorba has a complex relationship with the female sex. The narrator regards him as misogynistic, but he, at times, seems to afford women more freedoms than the average villager.

Part 1) Under what category of his "marriages" would Zorba's relationship with Madame Hortense fall under? Why?

• How does Zorba treat her differently than the other villagers do?

• Does his treatment of her fall in line with his claim that women have less moral strength than men?

Part 2) Zorba tells a story of his brother threatening to kill his daughter for becoming pregnant out of wedlock upon which he offers no opinion. He also reveals that to his greatest love he was only "half-honestly" married.

• Do you think Zorba is a misogynist?

• How does his behavior with women deviate from traditional values?

• Does this make him less of a misogynist?

• Do any of his behaviors make him more "free"?

Part 3) How does Zorba's description of Zeus, the overworked love slave, contradict his misogyny? Does it support it?

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. When he arrives in Candia, what news does the narrator receive?

His friend Stavridaki has died.

2. In his story, what does Zorba's grandfather tell the old soldier about the piece of wood he gives him?

He says it's part of the True Cross.

3. Who waits outside for Hortense to die in order to loot her belongings?

Dirge singers.

4. Who does Zorba adopt when Hortense dies?

Dimitri.

5. What does Zorba say prompted him to quit the army?

Seeing the orphans of a priest he killed.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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.

2. In his third theory of religion, what does the bishop give as God's reason for sending religion to the masses?

He says that God sent religion as an act of mercy for the masses in order that they might experience living in "eternity." The bishop believes that only a few people on earth are able to live an eternity during their natural lives on earth.

3. After the widow's murder, what happens when Zorba and Manolakas meet near the widow's garden?

Manolakas challenges Zorba to a knife fight after having been beaten previously. Zorba tells him he will fight without weapons. Then the narrator intervenes and talks them down from fighting at all. They end up all drinking together.

4. Why do you think the narrator's good friend, the soldier, is not named until his death?

It may be to emphasize the theme of the importance of human interaction and companionship. Just as the narrator is gaining the realization that human connection is essential, his friend dies and his friend's name is revealed. His friend has also fulfilled his passion, which was to serve his country. His name is then symbolically mythologized when it appears in the story.

5. What does Zorba say about the act of crying when Madame Hortense dies?

He says that he isn't ashamed to cry in front of men because of the unity they share. He says that crying in front of women is different because it is a man's job to prove his courage when before women.

6. When writing letters to Madame Hortense, what does the narrator have to do?

The narrator must pretend he is Zorba. Therefore, he must take on Zorba's characteristics in his writings while looking for the best in Madame Hortense.

7. What story does Zorba tell in Chapter 20 that supports the theme that appearance creates reality?

Zorba tells a story in which his grandfather takes a piece of wood, calls it part of the True Cross, and declares that it will protect the soldier to whom he gifts it from all harm in battle. The soldier then becomes a brave and invincible warrior simply because he believes that he has nothing to fear.

8. What does the narrator state is the reason for Zaharia's death?

The narrator says that Zaharia has fulfilled his main passion and purpose and has therefore accomplished everything that life would ask of him, so he can die.

9. What was Zaharia's inspiration for burning down the monastery?

He says he was acting on a mission assigned to him by Archangel Michael. He acted, however, based on the knowledge he received from Zorba.

10. What does Zorba say about women when the narrator reveals that he has proposed to Madame Hortense on his behalf?

Zorba says that women are delicate creatures and are unable to handle such jokes.

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