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Comparative Character Analysis on Simeon and Levi from Anita Diamant’s The Red Tentand Their Implications

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Anita Diamant’s novel The Red Tent is a Midrash revolved around the biblical passage of Genesis 34: Dinah and the Shechemites. In this story Anita Diamant gives a voice to Simeon and Levi’s sister, Dinah, who is known as the woman who was raped then later loved by Shechem. After Shechem’s injustice of Dinah, Shechem and his city were slaughtered by Simeon and Levi. Both bible passages and the novel The Red Tent provide some similar and some different characteristic traits for Simeon and Levi which in turn allows the readers to take away and learn more from the Midrash story. The readers are able to further involve themselves in the relevance of Dinah’s voice and story. Even though Simeon and Levi are separate individuals, for the purpose…show more content…
Simeon and Levi grew through both their experiences of violence and faith. Eventually they repented their sins they brought upon Joseph, their brother. The most significant aspect of their personalities is their zeal for cruelty and violence. In the Testament of the Patriarchs, it is understood that God came to both the Simeonites and Levites discussing their enthusiasm for violence. Eventually, even though warned by Simeon, the Simeonites could not overcome their obsession of cruelty and violence. Therefore, the Simeonites numbers eventually decreased and they were finally absorbed into the Judahites. The Levites, on the other hand, overcame their zeal for cruelty and violence by focusing their fixation towards God thereby becoming a holy priesthood.
Through passages in the bible and the Testament of the Patriarchs, Simeon and Levi were characterized as cruel, rash and violent leaders who were considered righteous in their vengeance of Shechem. But they made many dishonest and immoral decisions such as enslaving Joseph. Even though they made these dishonest decisions, the Levites were able to sustain and thrive as a holy priesthood; whereas the Simeonites were unable to change their ways, this eventually led to their obsolescence. In Anita Diamant’s novel, The Red Tent,
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