Zorba the Greek

Meditations on Nourishment

Niko's Kazantzaki's "Zorba the Greek" is a bittersweet portrayal of a romantic idealist that delves into the complex and oftentimes mysterious nature of the human psyche. The novel examines the interpersonal relationships between the two principal characters, as well as more profound issues of human experience. The novel's true drama, however, lies in Kazantzaki's recurring question: how to live? Both Zorba and the narrator are engaged in a quest to find the romantic, enchanted life necessary for fulfillment, but each embarks on the quest in his own, unique manner. While Zorba chooses to embrace life, interact with the natural world, and subject himself to its joys and sufferings, the narrator hides from the world behind the security of his books and tries to experience life through the teachings of others.

Each character approaches life from a different angle. Zorba embraces life as a sensualist and an adventurer, savoring each moment and appreciating the simple pleasures that the world has to offer. The narrator approaches life with little confidence, hesitating to step beyond the safe confines of his literature and intervene in the action of the world. It is not until he meets Zorba that he is able...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 740 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4425 literature essays, 1447 sample college application essays, 183 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in