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 good omen marks the narrator and Zorba's morning on the day work is to begin on the railway?

2. On what activity does the narrator try to instruct Zorba in Chapter 16?

3. In Chapter 16,what type of power does the narrator attempt to describe?

4. What does the narrator inherit from Zorba?

5. What gift does Madame Hortense present to Zorba when he returns from the monastery?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Anagnosti say that Pavli is blessed?

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

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

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. How did Zaharia appear when he was found dead?

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

10. What is the irony of Zorba comparing himself to Zeus in Chapter 19?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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"?

Essay Topic 2

After Zorba's return from Candia, the narrator attempts to convince him that the power of a mind concentrated on one thing is the singular path to great accomplishment.

Part 1) How does Zorba respond to this attempted lesson?

• Is the narrator's lesson on meditation received and practiced or do both file it with the "Void"?

• Do you agree with the narrator?

Part 2) How might concentration on a single thing threaten Zorba's way of life and very existence?

Part 3) Zorba has returned from Candia with an appearance altered to look younger. This is a strange juxtaposition to the narrator's focus on meditation.

• Are there parallels in the two men's behaviors?

• Or are the simply at odds with one another?

Essay Topic 3

The narrator's intention in the Buddha Manuscript shifts throughout the course of the novel.

Part 1) What does the manuscript begin as, and what does it become? What instigates the change in the narrator's intention?

Part 2) Do you think the narrator achieves his revised goal or his original goal with the finished product?

Part 3) Zorba constantly reinforces that living in the physical world is living in the mystery.

• Do you think that language is physical?

• Could the narrator have created a physical change in his life simply by writing the Buddha Manuscript?

Short Answer Key

1. What good omen marks the narrator and Zorba's morning on the day work is to begin on the railway?

White flowers blooming outside their window.

2. On what activity does the narrator try to instruct Zorba in Chapter 16?

Meditation.

3. In Chapter 16,what type of power does the narrator attempt to describe?

The power of the mind concentrated on one thing.

4. What does the narrator inherit from Zorba?

The santuri.

5. What gift does Madame Hortense present to Zorba when he returns from the monastery?

A pair of wedding rings.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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

He describes it as being each minute that passes.

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. 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.

9. 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.

10. What is the irony of Zorba comparing himself to Zeus in Chapter 19?

Zorba says that he is like Zeus in that he sacrifices his own self in order to bring women happiness. This is ironic because Zeus is traditionally considered to be lecherous towards women.

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