Zorba the Greek Test | Final Test - Hard

This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 156 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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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. Why does the narrator call a doctor on Easter?

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. What startling news does Zorba receive when he returns from Candia?

5. How does Zorba feel about the narrator's false promises made while Zorba was in Candia?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Anagnosti say that Pavli is blessed?

2. How are Zorba's final moments described?

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

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

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

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. Why does Zaharia say he became a monk?

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

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Several occurrences dovetail into the final exorcism of the Buddha.

Part 1) The death of Madame Hortense coincides with the narrator's affair with the widow and his completion of the manuscript.

• How might Hortense's death symbolize the death of the Buddha? Was Hortense physically present in life?

• Could her fantasies about past lovers and her role as a siren be categorized as a part of the "Void"?

• What kind of symbolic import does the looting of her belongings have on the theme of the Buddha?

Part 2) Zorba ultimately encourages the narrator to pursue the widow. Describe the outcome of the physical intimacy.

• Do you believe that physical intimacy could free the narrator from his philosophizing?

• Does the narrator adopt Zorba's ideas about physical intimacy? Should he?

Part 3) Do you think the narrator is completely finished with the Buddha when he finishes the manuscript? Provide evidence to support your answer.

Short Answer Key

1. Why does the narrator call a doctor on Easter?

Madame Hortense has grown very ill.

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. What startling news does Zorba receive when he returns from Candia?

He learns that he is expected to propose to Madame Hortense.

5. How does Zorba feel about the narrator's false promises made while Zorba was in Candia?

He is angry but willing to follow through on the promise.

Short Essay Answer Key

1. 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.

2. How are Zorba's final moments described?

Zorba dies howling and laughing like an animal.

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

He describes it as being each minute that passes.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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. Why does Zaharia say he became a monk?

He says poverty led him to become a monk. He was hungry and knew that if he went into the monastery there would be no way he could starve.

8. 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.

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. 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."

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