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 does the narrator inherit from Zorba?

2. What miracle do the monks come down from the mountain to share?

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

4. Who kills the widow and how is it done?

5. After sleeping with the widow, what does the narrator realize?

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

3. What does the narrator state is the reason for Zaharia's death?

4. Why does Anagnosti say that Pavli is blessed?

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

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

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

8. What does Madame Hortense actually think of Zorba?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The narrator's intuition is a powerful asset which returns to him over and over as a sort of interface between the mind, body, and soul.

Part 1) Describe how the narrator's intuition works when he fabricates a letter from Zorba to Madame Hortense.

• How is he able to come up with Zorba's private terms of endearment?

• Do you think this level of intuition is more an act of the mind, the body, the soul, or some combination of the three?

Part 2) Do you think Zorba or the narrator is the more intuitive man?

• Taking into account their respective histories, what elements might have developed intuition more in one character or the other?

• Is intuition a product of being physically present or might it have developed as compensation for indulgence in a life of books?

Part 3) The narrator also exercises his intuition when he foresees Stavridaki's peril. Look for other instances in which the narrator seems to sense reality.

• How are these different from the way that Zorba considers reality?

• Does the narrator become more or less intuitive as the novel progresses?

• Does Zorba impact this characteristic in him?

Essay Topic 2

A constant struggle in the novel exists between what is fated and what is the result of enacted will.

Part 1) How do the narrator and Zorba differ on the topic of fate? Does either one think that fate can be altered?

Part 2) How does his opinion on fate impact the way the narrator handles his relationship with the widow? What is Zorba's opinion on this?

Part 3) Zorba indicates that he believes all men fall into the marriage "trap" eventually. He also speaks of men and women's particular and inborn flaws. Would these opinions be relegations to fate, or would they, by Zorba's law, be things that an active will could prevent?

Essay Topic 3

The notion of "eternity" plays a consistent though seldom-mentioned role in Zorba the Greek.

Part 1) How would Zorba describe "eternity" on the boat at the beginning of the story?

• How would he describe it after Madame Hortense's death?

• What has brought him to this point?

• Is there any way in which Zorba can reconciliate living presently in the mystery with attempting to solve the question of an eternity that may be marked by a lack of physicality?

• Does he come close to solving this problem for himself?

Part 2) The narrator has a conversation with Mother Superior at the convent in which "eternity" is discussed?

• What is the narrator's response to the conversation?

• What does he mean when he refers to Buddha as the terrible "Last Man"?

• Is eternity a part of the "Void" for the narrator, or is it a notion he is able to reconcile with his quest for the ever-present physical world?

Part 3) How do the deaths of Madame Hortense and the widow alter Zorba and the narrator's convictions about eternity?

Short Answer Key

1. What does the narrator inherit from Zorba?

The santuri.

2. What miracle do the monks come down from the mountain to share?

The Holy Virgin of Revenge has killed Zaharia.

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

The timber rail project.

4. Who kills the widow and how is it done?

Mavrandoni cuts her head off.

5. After sleeping with the widow, what does the narrator realize?

"The soul is flesh as well."

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. 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.

3. What does the narrator state is the reason for Zaharia's death?

The narrator says that Zaharia has fulfilled his main passion and purpose and has therefore accomplished everything that life would ask of him, so he can die.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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

He describes it as being each minute that passes.

7. 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.

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. 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.

10. 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.

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