Zorba the Greek Social Concerns

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As a rule, Kazantzakis is more concerned with exploring questions of philosophy in his novels than he is with specific social issues. Nevertheless, in Zorba the Greek he takes several opportunities to comment on contem porary situations. Of greatest significance is the political background against which the story of the narrator and Zorba is set. While the two men engage in what some may consider escapist adventures on Crete, the narrator's friend Stavridaki is helping Greek partisans in the Balkans evacuate endangered countrymen from that region, where they face almost certain massacre. The uneasiness the narrator feels at times about his abandonment of his friend stems from his recognition that men have a social responsibility — and that he is avoiding his.

Kazantzakis also uses the novel to lambaste organized religion. The monks with whom Zorba and the narrator negotiate for logging rights near their mountain retreat are...

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This section contains 183 words
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Buy the Zorba the Greek Study Guide
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