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. Who claims the right to pronounce judgment on the widow regarding Pavli's death?

2. What happens to Gavrili in the night at the monastery?

3. Which character reveals that he had a son who died at the age of three?

4. After rescuing Zorba from being captured, what happens to the widow in his war story?

5. For what do the villagers gather to watch in Chapter 20?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the monastery bishop's first theory on religion.

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

3. Why does Anagnosti say that Pavli is blessed?

4. Describe the incident that prompted the monastery icon's name to be changed from Our Lady of Mercy to Our Lady of Revenge.

5. Describe what happened while Zorba was at war that changed his mind about judging a person based on nationality.

6. What evidence of artistic inspiration does the narrator find in the ruins of the old city? How does he feel when he sees it?

7. What might be the significance of the narrator inheriting the Santuri?

8. What does Madame Hortense actually think of Zorba?

9. As the narrator watches Zorba comfort Madame Hortense on her death bed with the others eagerly awaiting her death, what does he compare the scene to?

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

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 2

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 3

Zorba seems to conclude the thematic strand of the categories of men by retelling stories of war, both his own and others.

Part 1) Describe the way in which Zorba moved from patriotism, a man for his nation, to being a man of self. How might the story of the True Cross have encouraged this shift?

Part 2) Zorba admits to some heinous murders while acting as a man of patriotism. He also acknowledges extreme selfishness as a man who lives for the self.

• Do you think that one of the categorizations represented in the book might be more prone to wrongdoing? Which one and why?

• Might a man of God be just as likely to commit horrible crimes if he believed he was doing it for God?

Part 3) Zorba says he is no longer concerned with a man's nationality, only whether he is "good" or "bad."

• What would qualify as "good" to Zorba?

• Do you agree with Zorba's definition of "good"?

Short Answer Key

1. Who claims the right to pronounce judgment on the widow regarding Pavli's death?

Mavrandoni.

2. What happens to Gavrili in the night at the monastery?

He is murdered by his lover.

3. Which character reveals that he had a son who died at the age of three?

Zorba.

4. After rescuing Zorba from being captured, what happens to the widow in his war story?

She dies when Zorba sets her village on fire.

5. For what do the villagers gather to watch in Chapter 20?

Zorba celebrates the beginning of the railway construction.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Describe the incident that prompted the monastery icon's name to be changed from Our Lady of Mercy to Our Lady of Revenge.

In ancient times Algerians raided and set fire to the monastery. When they passed by the statue, it is said that she came to life, leaped down, and began stabbing the warriors with her spear until she had killed them all.

5. Describe what happened while Zorba was at war that changed his mind about judging a person based on nationality.

While at war, Zorba murdered a Bulgarian priest who had been invading Greek villages and killing Greeks. Later, when Zorba sees the orphans of the priest, he realizes that nationality doesn't matter. Rather, "good" and "bad" are the only important classifications to consider.

6. What evidence of artistic inspiration does the narrator find in the ruins of the old city? How does he feel when he sees it?

The narrator finds a partially finished jar carved from stone and a chisel on the ground nearby. This fills him with bitterness as he realizes the artistic inspiration has been defeated.

7. What might be the significance of the narrator inheriting the Santuri?

The Santuri, Zorba's musical instrument, was one of the symbols in the story of the expression of emotion outside of words. Zorba plays the Santuri in the story when he is happy. The fact that the story ends with the Santuri in the narrator's possession is an indication that he has grown closer to reaching his goal, that of a marriage between the body and spirit, and that he has attained some level of the sought after "freedom."

8. What does Madame Hortense actually think of Zorba?

Madame Hortense thinks Zorba will make a useful husband but does not think much of him above and beyond that role. She wishes also that he were as exciting and accomplished as her former lovers.

9. As the narrator watches Zorba comfort Madame Hortense on her death bed with the others eagerly awaiting her death, what does he compare the scene to?

The narrator first compares the scene to a huge exotic bird with a broken wing that has fallen and is dying on the beach, with all of the villagers standing around watching for entertainment. Then he compares Madame Hortense to other animals as well, like an "old angora cat" and "a sick old seal."

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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