Zorba The Greek Essay, Research Paper
The ending pages of Zorba take on a strangely more solemn tone than is seen in most of the rest of the book. Not only seriousness on behalf of Boss, but Zorba as well. Zorba seems almost desperate the last time he sees Boss, acting very needy, as though he couldn?t stand it if Boss were to forget about him. Zorba?s quote, ?for pity?s sake, do not forget me,? best expresses this. This longing is seldom seen anywhere else in the book.
In Zorba?s final letter to Boss, written by the schoolmaster, Zorba moves from being very loving towards Boss, to being very fatherly towards him. ?Tell him I hope he is well, and that it?s about time he showed a bit of sense,? states Zorba. In the same sentence, he shows both love and instruction.
Kazantzakis?s message in Zorba is not necessarily meant to be kept within the story, read simply for entertainment, but directed more so toward the reader. The reason that the narrator remains nameless throughout the story is that he, the Boss, is meant as a projection of the reader. Kazantzakis directs the application of content to the reader through first-person characterization as well. Instead of ?Boss learned from Zorba,? Kazantzakis writes, ?I learned from Zorba.?
The true message behind Zorba, is not necessarily that Zorba?s character is an ideal character, or that he has all the answers, simply that he?s been through so many more situations than an average man. Zorba?s been through the best and the worst, and has plenty more of each ahead of him. What Zorba says and does are merely examples, meant for the reader to consider, then regard or disregard accordingly. His relationship with Boss is one of learning. Zorba suggests, ?Make a heap of all your books and set light to them…after that, we?ll make something of you!? The two men aren?t particularly opposites, but are of different mindsets. Boss demonstrates his practical views, whereas Zorba demonstrates freedom, both physically and mentally. Each considers the actions of the other, and chooses their standing on them.
Kazantzakis means for the reader to learn from the book, to take it into consideration, and to come to a better understanding of his or her own beliefs or personality. The reader can compare his or herself more to Zorba or to Boss, both of whom have their virtues and vices, and can be learned from.