During the Occupation the Kazantzakis couple lived in utter poverty. Eleni encountered countless difficulties on her journeys to and from Athens to get essential provisions, while their friends Thrassyvoulos Androulidakis and Yiannis Manglis helped as best they could.
From time to time Nikos appears to have been determined to give up writing and give himself over to action. Yet he judged that his creative work was the only way he could contribute to moulding post-war reality.
Later, he told the fellow-Cretan poet Minas Dimakis that all of his works during the Occupation were “about freedom, the thirst, the longing for freedom. Prometheus, Zorba, Constantine Paleologue”.