Zorba the Greek Essay
Zorba the Greek
The narrator has been cumulating knowledge for decades, but finally realizes that only emotions can ‘catalyze’ it and turn passive knowledge into active. Another significant spiritual belief, expressed by Zorba and at first rejected by the narrator is freedom, including the absence of redundant social bonds. Zorba has ‘worked’ “quarrier, miner, pedlar, potter, comitadij, santuri-player, passa tempo hawker, blacksmith, smuggler” (Kazantzakis, 1953, p. 47). In addition, he spent several years in prison, committed cruel crimes (killed people of other ethnicities like Turks and Kurds).
In addition, he used to simplify his social problems and therefore find correspondingly easy solutions: “All the problems which we find so complicated or insoluble he cuts through as if a sword, like Alexander the Great cutting the Gordian knot” (Kazantzakis, 1953, p. 48). On the contrary, the narrator’s commitment to society is unquestionable, as he at first characterizes Zorba’s life as “primitive boldness” (Kazantzakis, 1953, p. 48) and therefore seeks to preserve his reputation. Thus, he believes that humans freedom in social interactions should cause no harm to the person’s reputation.
To sum up, the author suggests that the combinations of Zorba’s and narrator’s beliefs is likely to create a socially productive and committed personality, who, however, realizes their own freedom and can allow emotions drive his acts sometimes. Although the writing suggests that Zorba as a self-sufficient and to great extent asocial personality hasn’t altered after a number of sincere dialogues with his Boss, the narrator, after the philosopher’s death, feels Zorba’s worldview has penetrated deeply into his consciousness and shaped a new lifestyle.
The refinement of the narrator’s image and the establishment of reasonable balance between his former beliefs and Zorba’s ground-breaking teachings indicate that the lifestyle should be approached holistically, since, in human beliefs, such natural harmonies as those existing between body and soul or between mind and emotion are the fundamental preconditions to the true fulfillment.
Kazantzakis, N. (1953). Zorba the Greek. New York: Simon and Schuster.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 May 2017