What are the similarities between Zorba and the narrator? Are there any features in their personalities that could be compared? such as their approach to friendship...

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The narrator is a young English writer (Basil) who has acquired the Greek mining enterprise from a distance.  He brings with him an naïve enterprising spirit built on “gentleman’s agreement” mentality that precludes acting on anything but logic.  Zorba introduces him to a new set of criteria—acting on impulse, from the spirit, answering to the forces of life that have been eliminated from the “civilized” upbringing of the narrator.  But both characters love human contact and are sensitive to the needs of the workers, for example, and to the “rules” of physics.”  The beauty of the novel lies in how the two contrasting characters give their particular gifts to the other, tempering the damage each character may do without the other.  Zorba’s external exuberance and joie de vivre, manifested not only in his gruff manner, but also in his self-destructive behavior, is ameliorated by the narrator’s common sense and ability to look to the future.

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