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Lit IO: History of Crete

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Neila Bennamane

on 11 September 2014

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Transcript of Lit IO: History of Crete

Brief History of Crete
In 1669, Crete was conquered by the Turks after a 21-year siege
Destruction, raids, and confiscation of property was common throughout this period.
Although the Cretans faced extreme poverty, they remained on the island and tried resisting.
The Russians attempted to help liberate Crete, but failed and faced bloodshed.
"GNTO-Greek Islands-Crete-History & Culture." GNTO-Greek Islands-Crete-History & Culture. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2014.
Effect of History on Narrator
"I watched these frightened girls advance, clinging together as if to form an impassable barrier. It was an instinctive reaction, indispensable in earlier times and today repeated without reason" (Page 32)
Women had become used to the constant warfare
Treated horribly

Madame Hortense
Effect of History on Zorba
"And now I suppose, boss, you think I'm going to start and tell you how many Turks' heads I've lopped off, and how many ears I've pickled in spirit- that's the custom in Crete" Page 21

shows resentment towards war and effect it has had on Crete
clearly has changed the way Zorba views life
Lit IO: History of Crete
Industrial Revolution
Second industrial revolution had begun and spread to Crete.
Evidence in the novel "Telegraphy, steam-ships and engines...appeared like rusty old rifles."

" ...an old frigate who had fought on distant seas, who had know victory and defeat, her hatches battered in, her masts broken, her sails torn..." (Page 29)
Madame Hortense is described as a ship who is torn up due to battles it has gone through.
She has lived a long life full of adventures and has therefore known victory and defeat.
Her body is worn out from all of her travels.
Zorba the Greek
by Nikos Kazantzakis

Neila Bennamane
Gianna Molinare
Andrea Marrou
Brittany Montesino
Andres Rodriguez
"In 1896 I was already a fully-grown man...But suddenly the devil took a hand in things and a new revolution broke out in Crete" Page 21

the revolution mentioned was Crete's final fight for independence
this fight for independence was Zorba's first war
"What with deep scars, bullet and sword marks, his body was like a colander." -Page 224
"He turned around and showed me his back. 'Not a scratch on the back, you see.'" -Page 224

Zorba's persistence
Fought many battles
Wasn't afraid to take things head-on
"I've cut people's throats, burned villages, robbed and raped women, wiped out entire families. Why? Because they were Bulgars, or Turks.
Hatred towards anyone who wasn't Greek
Proud of himself (at the time)
Followed blindly
Her beauty is fading with her old age much like Crete which was once very alluring, but has been destroyed by war.
Madame Hortense has been with many different officers from different countries while Crete has had different countries invade its shores.
This character lives with nostalgia-she thinks back to her younger years when she was involved with certain men and the Cretans wish to return their island to its original state.
"I was a patriot then, of course-a wild beast; I went back with a can of paraffin and set fire to the village." -Page 227

Slept with a Bulgar woman who saved his life
No mercy when it came to Turks
Ironic (He begged for mercy but had no mercy himself)
Resentment towards Turks due to the history between them.
"I had rented on the coast of Crete, facing Libya,disused lignite mine, and I was going now to live with simple men."
Coal was a profitable product at the time.

"In a mine. I'm a good miner. I know a thing of two about metals, I know how to find the veins and open up galleries."
A skill developed due to the industrial revolution.
Very sought out skill to have because it was needed at the time.
"Crete was once more in a state of revolution and the fleets of the great powers had anchored in the port of Suda...You should have seen the four admirals: the English, the French, the Italian, and the Russian." Page 38
People from other nations came to help Crete with the war effort, and that is how Madame Hortense met them.
Kazantzakis made an allusion to actual historical events by having Zorba call Madame Hortense Bouboulina.
Heroine of the Greek War of Independence
Represents Madame Hortense's personality.
Four Corners:
Nationalism is necessary in a country.
Would you feel resentment towards a specific culture if they invaded your country?
Turkish Occupation of Crete
What if?:

Knowing the narrator's personality, what adventure do you think he would have chosen had the industrial revolution not occurred during that period?

(People who answer will get a reward)
How does this picture represent Zorba's life at a young age?
Culture & Other Historical Aspects of Crete
Crete had many polytheistic religions and influences from the Turkish religions as well which is why the religion of Crete is a mystery.

Greece was a patriarchal society therefore women where not treated kindly and were misunderstood

Food is a big part of a culture especially in a Mediterranean country like Greece. Eating and drinking is done by everyone and can bring people together.

"They are a truly admirable people who learnt to hold on stubbornly...to their native character and local speech. Courage, mingled with an independent spirit that is often close to downright disobedience, a lively wit, vivid imagination, and a language full of images, spontaneous and unaffected, love for every kind of adventure, an indefatigable urge for freedom..."
- History of Crete by Theoharis Detorakis
In Relation to Zorba
The quote above from a book about the history of Crete, describes its people as very Zorba - like. The description he gives them is much like the description the narrator gives to Zorba.
"Whenever i feel I'm choking with some emotion I dance. And i feel better!" - (pg. 79)
The Symbol of Food in
Zorba the Greek
"Tell me what you do with the food you eat, and i'll tell you who you are. Some turn their food into fat and manure, some into work and good humor, and others, I am told, into God." - pg. 73

In this quote Zorba is stating the "you are what you eat" theory. It means that what you eat defines your character and each person is different.
"We sat down at a table; we hungrily devoured the dishes and drank the wine. Our bodies were satisfied and our souls were thrilled with pleasure" - pg. 128

Food is seen as some sort of stimulus for life and pleasure which we must have to survive.
Think about it...
Do you think food can define people? Does food have philosophical significance or is it purely biological?
Full transcript