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. After receiving a letter from his friend in Chapter 25, who does the narrator warn when he feels a sense of danger?

2. What is the narrator's topic of conversation with the Mother Superior?

3. For what action does Zorba grow proud of the narrator?

4. What does Zorba suggest the narrator will need to become completely free?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

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

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

5. Why does Anagnosti say that Pavli is blessed?

6. How are Zorba's final moments described?

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

8. What two major shifts happen to the narrator in Chapter 21? What major realization do these shifts spur in the narrator.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Human management of the desire for material things and other people is a central crux of the characters' experiences.

Part 1) How does Zorba suggest that intense desire be sated?

• How is this similar to the narrator's act of writing the Buddha Manuscript?

• Do you think there is more value in lust for abstract philosophizing than in lust for the material world? Or vice versa?

• Are they equally gluttonous attitudes?

Part 2) Zorba notes that all of the monks strongly desire some material thing.

• How does he encourage them to handle their desires?

• Does he encourage Demetrios and Gavrili to handle their lusts similarly?

• Does Zorba's attempt at getting a deal on the land support his theories on desire and satisfaction or contradict them?

Part 3) How do the men at the monastery symbolize the struggle between Zorba and the narrator? Do the bishop's great theories on religion and the abbot's business ventures make the men more like Zorba or more like the narrator?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

Short Answer Key

1. After receiving a letter from his friend in Chapter 25, who does the narrator warn when he feels a sense of danger?

His soldier friend.

2. What is the narrator's topic of conversation with the Mother Superior?

Eternity.

3. For what action does Zorba grow proud of the narrator?

The narrator finally pursues the widow.

4. What does Zorba suggest the narrator will need to become completely free?

Folly.

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

The power of the mind concentrated on one thing.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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."

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. 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. 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.

5. 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.

6. How are Zorba's final moments described?

Zorba dies howling and laughing like an animal.

7. 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.

8. What two major shifts happen to the narrator in Chapter 21? What major realization do these shifts spur in the narrator.

The narrator finally sleeps with the widow, which Zorba has been encouraging him to do for some time. The narrator also finishes the Buddha Manuscript and with it, has the realization that he has exorcised the Buddha from himself. These two shifts make it clear to the narrator that "the soul is flesh as well," or in other words the actions of his body are just as important and spiritual as the meditating and thinking to which he is accustomed.

9. 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.

10. 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."

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