Theme of Life Experiences in Zorba the Greek

The unique “Zorba the Greek” by Nikos Kazantzakis is amongst the most popular examples of Greek literature, which includes both ancient and modern-day doctrines of Greek culture, consisted of by two main parts: and, represented by the storyteller and Zorba respectively. Checking out both beliefs, the author suggests that it is difficult to attain absolute fulfillment without combining the passion of Dionysius and the factor of Apollo till the outlook maturates and allows the person actualize him/herself.

Today paper is intended to go over the peculiarities of both characters’ spiritual beliefs and their rapprochement as much as their confluence in the storyteller’s awareness.

Firstly, it is essential to conceive spiritual belief: in my own understanding, spiritual belief is the individual’s awareness and identity- most importantly in the universal context of human psychology, in which the identity answers the easy question: “Who am I?” and for that reason shapes human self-perception and outlook.

In Kazantzakis’s novel, 2 characters with diametrically opposing, as it appears at first sight, fulfill after the narrator inherits a little piece of land on Crete and hires Zorba as a cook and assistant.

Both Zorba and the one in charge engage into the journey towards the romantic and enchanting life, however each of them has unique purposes for this quest: Zorba keeps seeking brand-new impressions as this way of life is typical for him, whereas the narrator is just tired of his tough psychological work.

Zorba tries to turn each moment of time into sensation instead of cognition: “Leave their eyes closed, employer, and let them go on dreaming … unless when they open their eyes you can show them a much better world that the darkness in which they are gallivanting at present” (Kazantzakis, 1953, p.

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61). Zorba has no worry of looking into the most produced human dreams and actively engages with natural world, society and topics himself to his pleasure and suffering as intriguing and special experiences, although the physical reaction to them is usually unchangeable.

It is even possible to state that Zorba views suffering as a form of delight and thus accepts any risks and adventures as the sources of emotions, regardless of their nature. Thus, Zorba is an incorrigible optimist whose motto is “Live life and enjoy it! ” (Kazantzakis, 1953, p. 53), as it doesn’t really matter whether adversities or happiness have been brought about by the life – one can find positive excitement in both.

On the contrary, the narrator believes delight is a form of suffering and therefore seeks to secure himself behind his books and studies. He has researched human psyche a lot, but appears at first incapable of realizing the value of human existence: “We are little grubs, Zorba, minute grubs on the small leaf of a tremendous tree. The small leaf is the earth. The other leaves are the stars that you see moving at night. We make our way on this little leaf examining it anxiously and carefully.

We smell it; it smells good or bad to us. We taste it and find it eatable. We beat on it and it cries out like a living thing” (Kazantzakis, 1953, p. 194). Human being is simply a tiny or even elementary particle of the Universe, which should be aware of this fact as well as of the shortness and misery of their existence, which passes so rapidly that it is impossible to achieve fulfillment and higher spiritual pleasure.

I suspect, the narrator might even regard non-being as much more preferable than the existence and inevitable involvement into the routines, bred by social ambience. For me, the narrator is a typical product of excessive socialization, bonded by responsibilities, restrictions and taboos, thus with respect to all mentioned above, he can also be defined as negativist, who, however, gradually develops his ability to notice and value the traces the exciting experiences has left in his soul – emotions and warm remembrances.

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Theme of Life Experiences in Zorba the Greek. (2017, May 19). Retrieved from

Theme of Life Experiences in Zorba the Greek
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