In the greek literature that i read i have identified the informing symbol for this culture is finding the meaning of life. The atwood theory discussed in class is that at the heart of any country or culture is a single unifying and informing symbol. Atwoods theory gives the country or culture its identity and strength. The literature of the country or culture probably is what shows this symbol the best. The stories that i read are and dreams are dreams stories of taxi drivers and the white bear from the book ..and dreams are dreams by vassilis vassilikos. I also read zorba the greek a novel by nikos kazantzakis. They were a useful source for finding the greek symbol of life. Each story does a decent job in showing the meaning of life for the country for greece. Zorba the greek explores where and how to find meaning in life in a world where the author emphasizes we are all fated to die. The novel tells us how we should live and knowing that we will die soon. In zorba the greek the narrator the thirty-five-year-old boss goes to greece to reopen a mine he owns in crete and to learn to understand the life of the common working class person. He meets an older man named zorba who lives largely unthinkingly in the world. Zorba is a lower class than the narrator has worked with his hands and has been a lover. The narrator hires him as a foreman for the mine. Zorba is hardworking and absorbed in living with enjoyment in the moment while the narrator tries to attain a buddhist detachment enotes there are three short stories that i chose in and dreams are dreams by vassilis vassilikos. The first story and dreams are dreams tells about five friends who starts a newspaper consisting of nothing but of peoples dreams but they end up contributing to the politics of their country. The second story stories of taxi drivers is about one of the newspapermen recounts the stories of taxi drivers. The third story is the white bear. It is about the appearance of a white bear in downtown athens. This creates fear and problems. However since the bear represents the history of the greeks the ending shows there is hope for the bear and thus for the country. The characters in these stories find lifes meaning in separate ways. The first author i met through the books had his roots in the country of greece. Nikos kazantzakis was a greek writer and his works included essays novels poems tragedies travel books and translations of classics. He was important in modern greek literature and was nominated in nine different years for the nobel prize. During the period of revolt of crete against rule by the ottoman empire kazantzakis was born. His family fled to a greek island of náxos. Because of this tough start to his life he often struggled to create a meaning of life. This was the true starting point of this novel. He became well known across the world due to adaptations of zorba the greek especially as a movie. Kazantzakis studied philosophy and law at the university of athens britannica.com kazantzakis studied under henri bergson at the sorbonne who researched the relationship between mind and body. He said the mind and memory are independent of the body. This was a brand-new idea. Bergson also accepted evolution as fact. He said there was elan vita a vital impulse that create new forms. These were revolutionary ideas. In kazantzakis 1909 doctoral thesis at the sorbonne he reworked a version of the thesis under the title of friedrich nietzsche on the philosophy of right and the state. Nietzsche discussed the demise of god and predicted the disintegration of conventional religion and power. Nietzsche was a doubter he rejected philosophical thinking and he gave an interesting point of view of the human condition. The authors difficult situations made it hard for him to find a purpose in life but these two philosophers certainly influenced his writing. The second author vassilis vassilikos is a writer and a diplomat born in northern greece in 1934. Vassilis vassilikos spent almost seven years in exile after the military coup in 1965. His experiances in exile led him to become an author. He has published over 100 books; some are translated into 32 languages and have won some writing awards. He has been published in the united states by seven stories press. His strong political opinion running greek state television and running a local election in 2014 allowed him to write books with strong feelings. Vassilikos writes about the art within life the spirit in existence and the reality in dreams. There are two well known authors who had the same philosophy: gabriel garcía marqúez and luigi pirandello sevenstories.com gabriel garcía márquez is the best-known latin american writer in history. Britannica.com he is a journalist and is good at writing short stories. Garcia marquez has been able to help the common reader look at life britannica.com luigi pirandello is an italian playwright novelist and short-story writer winner of the 1934 nobel prize for literature. He became an important innovator in modern drama with his invention of the theatre within the theatre in the play six characters in search of an author britannica.com he has written many books and all under one title novel for a year which has 15 volumes. He wrote the books from 1922 to 1937. These two writers gabriel garcía marqúez and luigi pirandello influenced vassilikos in his ablitiy to show the explore life. Vassilis vassilikos and nikos kazantzakis have presented a worthwhile look at the greek way of life. It is a worthwhile to take a close look at each book. Firstly zorba the greek written by nikos kazantzakis in 1968 is a novel of the adventures of the unnamed narrator and his new friend alexis zorba in a small island of crete. It gives a wonderful of picture of the greek way of finding the meaning of life. George zorba helps the narrator to reopen an abandoned mine in greece. In the novel zorba gives the narrator a name known as the boss. The boss goes to crete in greece to mine the coal. Zorba is fascinated by the boss since the moment they meet. Zorba urging his employer to live life fully and give up agreement. Zorba shows us by playing his guitarlike santuri dancing and giving opinions about how to live a good life and the nature of god. They are usually said as jokes and riddles. For example zorba explains the chaos of the physical world by pointing out that fishers pray to god to make fish blind so that they will swim into the nets; the fish pray to god to make the fishers blind so that they will cast their nets in the wrong places. Since god is the god of both fishers and fish sometimes god listens to the prayers of the fish and sometimes to the prayers of the fishers so sometimes fish are caught and sometimes they are not. Zorba is also a confidence man but a good-hearted one enotes.com in the novel he has many romance with women in life and sometimes is fooled loses most of the bosss money. Madam hortense is caring as a sexual role but she also does not fit in greek society. In the end the boss learns of zorbas death. He also realised that their mine has failed. The women that they had loved are dead. The two characters learned together to live a good life. Many of the words spoken by the characters in zorba the greek demonstrate the theme finding the meaning of life. While zorba is drunk he thinks do you understand anything boss im at a loss. Everything has a soul even wood and stones and the wine we drink and the ground we tread. Everything everything boss pg. 42 zorba is very different from the boss because zorba wants to have pleasure in life while living in the world. He says to the boss to live do you know what that means to undo your belt and look for trouble. As zorba ages and grow closer to death zorba throws himself ever more fully into living. Unlike the boss he does not look for answers in religion or god but in this world. Boss he says everythings simple in this world. How many times must i tell you so dont go and complicate things. He has no use for philosophy since it cant solve the only mystery that really matters death. All those damned books you read what good are they why do you read them if they dont tell you that what do they tell you he has an interesting way of finding the meaning of life. The short stories written by vassilis vassilikos greeces most acclaimed living novelist give us a clear picture of modern greece. The three stories tell us about the old world facing recent problems. The first story and dreams are dreams is about five friends starting a newspaper consisting of nothing more than peoples dreams. It is powerful that they end up affecting the politics of their country. The outcome of the narrative was to have dreams and to have a dream to become life and life to become a dream. The second story is stories of taxi drivers is about the challenges of being a taxi driver a common occupation in greece. It recounts the stories of taxi drivers and their problems. It leads to the newspaperman solving some of their problems. There is good social interaction shown in this symbol of greek life. The third story is the white bear is about the appearance of a bear in downtown athens presenting a challenge to the outlook of the citizens of that city. The bear symbolizes the history of greek people bound with the chains of slavery and not wanting to dance according to the beat of the tambourine played by the master foreword the author has referred to difficult past politics and shown the modern outlook in greek citizens. Vassilis vassilikos writes vividly of the realities of life. The conversation in .and dreams are dreams often presents the theme of life. In the story and dreams are dreams there is a quote that explains how dreams help people to live. Dreaming is the only thing that helps me to live said a taxi driver. Dreaming of going back to my village. In the second story stories of taxi drivers is about stories of taxi drivers and how they try to handle their lives but their lives are hard. But he was suffering i could see that. The blow had been mortal and what was worse he couldnt get it out of his system. The important thing in life is having an escape value for all poisonous gases. Thats all matters. In the white bear the bear represents the all greek people in the poem the scared road by anghelos sikelianos. But i remember that in his poem about the bear a species faced sadly with extinction like the spinning wheel the poet of the lyric life gives symbolic extensions. The speakers in these stories describe searches for lifes definition. It has been profitable to read both authors and to find the symbol of living in greek culture and community. Kazantzakis excellently shows two opposite the ways of living how they differ and how they can come together and enjoy life. Vassilikos writes about several levels of greek society and presents their outlook on life. In the greek culture the people always looks for meaning of life with excitement boldness and pleasure.