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 happens to Gavrili in the night at the monastery?

2. Who does Zorba adopt when Hortense dies?

3. From whom must Zorba and the narrator rent land for the timber rail project?

4. Who closes Hortense's eyes when she dies?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. What does the narrator succeed in doing in Chapter 21 that Zorba could not?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

There are several parallel calamities/destructions that occur in the novel:

1) the lignite mine and the monastery

2) the Buddha and the timber rail

3) the death of Madame Hortense and the death of the widow

Pick one set to compare and contrast both literally and symbolically.

Short Answer Key

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

He is murdered by his lover.

2. Who does Zorba adopt when Hortense dies?

Dimitri.

3. From whom must Zorba and the narrator rent land for the timber rail project?

Monks at the monastery.

4. Who closes Hortense's eyes when she dies?

Zorba.

5. 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.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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.

2. 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.

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. 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.

5. 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.

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 does the narrator succeed in doing in Chapter 21 that Zorba could not?

The narrator recognizes that Madame Hortense is seriously ill and takes care of her both mentally and physically. He mentally encourages her by reminding her of her wedding while physically bringing a doctor to attend to her. He uses Zorba's romantic speech tricks while conscientiously attending to her health as well. Zorba, on the other hand, is a successful romantic but not a responsible partner.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

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