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. For what action is Zorba trying to make up for by his actions in Chapter 18?

2. Who does Zorba claim was Hortense's greatest lover?

3. When he arrives in Candia, what news does the narrator receive?

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

5. What startles the narrator from his sleep at the monastery?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How are Zorba's final moments described?

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

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

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

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

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

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's relationship with Madame Hortense challenges everything he believes about women and relationships.

Part 1) How is Madame Hortense similar to Zorba's generalization of all women? How is she different?

Part 2) Zorba waffles between insisting that men are in service to women and that women are inferior to men.

• In what way does Madame Hortense situate him strictly as a service person?

• How does Zorba respond to this?

Part 3) Do you think Madame Hortense is settling for Zorba?

• Is Zorba settling for her?

• Why does he agree to marry her?

Essay Topic 2

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?

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. For what action is Zorba trying to make up for by his actions in Chapter 18?

Spending all of the narrator's money in Candia.

2. Who does Zorba claim was Hortense's greatest lover?

Zorba.

3. When he arrives in Candia, what news does the narrator receive?

His friend Stavridaki has died.

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

Sacred awe.

5. What startles the narrator from his sleep at the monastery?

A gun shot.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. How are Zorba's final moments described?

Zorba dies howling and laughing like an animal.

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. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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."

9. 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.

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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