What are some imagery and allusions in Zorba the Greek? The imagery can be olfactory, sight, auditory, tactile, or taste.

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One of the most important elements in Zorba the Greek is the sea itself. Much of the story takes place at sea. Greece, although having a large coastline, has a large inland area where much of the story could have taken place. There is a point to the novel's setting;...

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One of the most important elements in Zorba the Greek is the sea itself. Much of the story takes place at sea. Greece, although having a large coastline, has a large inland area where much of the story could have taken place. There is a point to the novel's setting; the sea and the imagery that revolves around it throughout the story serves as a symbol for the uncertainty of life and the ability to travel into the unknown.

Another important moment in the story is when Zorba is discussing the fish and the fisherman. Here an image is painted of a fisherman praying to God to make the fish blind so that the fish will swim into the nets. The fish, however, are also praying to God to make the fisherman blind. Zorba uses this story about God to make a statement about life and the universe. Both the fish and the fisherman are praying to the same God, creating a messy and unpredictable world. This is exactly the point being alluded to.

Zorba's dance is another important image within the story that points to higher symbols and themes within the novel and would be useful to analyze further.

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Perhaps one of the most famous uses of imagery in Zorba the Greek is the butterfly sequence in chapter 10. In this scene, the narrator finds a butterfly hatching from its cocoon. In his excitement to speed along the miracle of life, the narrator helps the butterfly escape from its cocoon, only to watch it die seconds later in his hand. The most stirring use of imagery in this section is Nikos Kazantzakis' description of the butterfly's pathetic, crumpled wings.

Overall, this sequence of powerful imagery is meant to symbolize the supremacy of Nature's rhythms. The world works best when it is allowed to progress naturally, without undue haste. When we try to force things to happen faster, when we try to get the things we want more quickly than is natural, we throw off Nature's balance, a potentially fatal error. Overall, the butterfly imagery in chapter 10 is some of the most powerful in the book, as it highlights Kazantzakis' desire to forsake the artificial cares and worries of human society in favor of the balance of the natural world.  

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