Zorba

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade November 2001

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Bad things always happen to good people. In excerpts from Zorba the Greek, by N. Katzanzakais, one can find the hidden message- bad things happening to good people- all throughout the story. Not just in this story, but throughout history, this has been a reoccurrence. A clear example of this would be how Joan of Arc was crucified after all of what she did for France. Another instance would be Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi being assassinated. In these excerpts from Zorba the Greek, everyone who is good has something awful happened to them.

Zorba the Greek's setting is in a village in Crete around 1900. It is the story of a beautiful widow being the gossip of the town. "You close the light and imagine it's not the wife you take in your arms, but the widow." She was insulted- in ways like this- numerous times throughout the entire selection and had not done anything wrong.

She was a beautiful women who ended being the target.

The "Boss", who was the narrator of the story, was a kind man. He was one of the few who did not gossip or speak ill of the widow. Not because he did not want to, rather because he really could not express it. Although he was an educated man, he was not "street-smart." He was a follower, it seemed, and life was hard on him. "I had fallen so low that"¦ between falling in love"¦ and reading a book"¦ I should have chosen the book." The first time in the story when he saw the widow, he thought dirty thoughts, however could not do anything about them. He left feeling shameful and hoping that his grandchild would be able to do what he could not. However, in the end, he did end up sleeping with the widow. Nothing was wrong about this. The widow felt attraction to him as well and they both expressed it to one another. The bad thing that happened to the boss was that when he finally got to the point of having a women over a book, the women was taken from him.

Pavli was the young boy who was desperately in love with the widow. She is completely not interested in this little boy. She is a widow, older, and wiser. She does not want to marry such a little boy and lets him know thoroughly. His stubbornness and stupidity get him and the widow killed. He should have understood that the widow was doing the right thing in not letting him marry her. However, he takes it the wrong way and ends up killing himself. Pavli, although stupid was not a bad person. He simply wanted a happy life with the widow, however he never did understand why he could not have her. He was a young boy who should have moved on because he was at the prime of his life, but could not bear the pain and rejection. Thus, he killed himself. Sometimes people just bring bad upon themselves.

The worst happened to the best character in this story. Zorba was completely crushed by the murdering of the widow. Throughout the story, he had tried to save the women from the town's gossip. Hearing the gossip did not make him change his views on the widow either. He had strong judgment of character along with a powerful mind of his own. He objected indirectly to the despicable remarks Mimiko, the widows errand boy, said about the widow. He also told the Boss that having the widow was not a bad thing. He did not find the widow sleeping with someone dishonorable, even though this story took place near 1900. He was a good man, who had suffered enough from the loss of his son, already. His one fault was that he did not think the way the people in the town did. This made him get slaughtered when he was the only person trying to save the widow from being murdered.

The main person in the story became the biggest victim. The widow was killed for no reason. It was not her fault that Pavli killed himself because she did not want him. It was not her fault that she was so beautiful that it made the people in the town gossip about her. It was not her fault that she felt feelings towards someone and gave herself to him. And certainly it was not her fault that society expects so much from women. Based on physical appearance, her reputation was ruined. She was labeled dishonorable because of the thoughts men had about her. She was not a bad women though. She did not marry Pavli because she did not want him. She did not have any sexual relationship with her errand boy Mimiko because she did not want to. Mimiko would certainly wanted to have though. However, because of what the town thought of her, she was killed at the end. Bad things happened to good people. The widow was not a bad person. She simply did what she felt was right for her. She did not try to hurt anyone purposely with what she did. She died for no reason at all. Thus, bad things do always happen to good people.