Zorba the Greek Test | Final 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 startling news does Zorba receive when he returns from Candia?

2. Upon his return from Candia, what does Zorba encourage the narrator to quickly get started on?

3. What concept does the narrator come up with when formulating his ideas about death?

4. Whose death is sought after to avenge Pavli's death?

5. What message does the narrator tell Madame Hortense that Zorba has sent from Candia?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Zaharia appear when he was found dead?

2. How does the narrator describe eternity in Chapter 15?

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

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

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

6. How are Zorba's final moments described?

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

8. Describe the actions that follow after the widow enters the church at the Easter celebration.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Zorba offers a range of religious thought. At times, he calls himself an atheist. Later, he describes God and the devil to be exactly like himself. Still later, he rewrites Christianity, claiming that Jesus is an heir to Zeus.

Part 1) Describe Zorba's relationship to the religion of the villagers. How does he react to it?

Part 2) Based on dialogue and actions, Is Zorba truly an atheist? Why?

Part 3) How does the irony of Zorba's religious talk instruct the narrator on his path to exorcising his own philosophical thought?

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 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?

Short Answer Key

1. What startling news does Zorba receive when he returns from Candia?

He learns that he is expected to propose to Madame Hortense.

2. Upon his return from Candia, what does Zorba encourage the narrator to quickly get started on?

The timber rail project.

3. What concept does the narrator come up with when formulating his ideas about death?

Sacred awe.

4. Whose death is sought after to avenge Pavli's death?

The widow.

5. What message does the narrator tell Madame Hortense that Zorba has sent from Candia?

He tells her that Zorba has proposed marriage to her.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. How did Zaharia appear when he was found dead?

He was found shaven bald and pierced with the spear of the Holy Virgin of Revenge.

2. How does the narrator describe eternity in Chapter 15?

He describes it as being each minute that passes.

3. 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."

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. How are Zorba's final moments described?

Zorba dies howling and laughing like an animal.

7. 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.

8. Describe the actions that follow after the widow enters the church at the Easter celebration.

Because the villagers blame the widow for Pavli's death, Manolakas leads a mob to the church when they discover that she is there. When she walks out of the church, the mob surrounds her and Mavrandoni blocks the door to keep her from going back in. The mob begins to throw stones at her, and several pull knives as well. Mavrandoni says it is his right to declare judgment and orders her to be killed. The narrator attempts to save her but trips on a rock. Zorba arrives and also attempts to save her. Momentarily, he does as he wrestles Manolakas away from her, but ultimately Mavrandoni cuts her head off.

9. 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.

10. 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.

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