The Red Tent (All You Need to

5163 WordsOct 8, 199921 Pages
Literary Analysis: The Red Tent The author and her times Anita Diamant, author of the historic fiction novel, The Red Tent, is a devout Jewish-American living in Newtonville, Massachusetts with her husband and daughter, Emilia. She has written five books about contemporary Jewish life, The Red Tent being her first novel. Diamant may have been influenced by the recent resurgence of creating Midrashim, or stories that attempt to explain the Torah by examining its subtexts. Modern women have taken a keen interest in this practice, hoping to expand on the minute biblical mentions of women like Dinah. Form, structure and plot The Red Tent is organized in a seemingly complicated yet beautifully simple way. There are three…show more content…
The only physical description of Dinah is quite vague: "‘…the dark eyed girl with the curly hair and the fine hands…’" (Diamant 189). She was a mid-eastern girl, but little else is said of her appearance. Dinah’s character is essential to the novel, as it is a chronicle of her life. She is the heart and soul of the story. Through her the reader experiences one of the oldest stories of all time, Genesis, through the eyes of someone who was painfully obscure for thousands of years. A simple description of her own name best describes Dinah’s character: "Maybe you heard it in the music of my name: the first vowel high and clear, as when a mother calls to her child at dusk; the second sound soft, for whispering secrets on pillows" (Diamant 1). Even so early in the novel, before the actual story begins, Diamant establishes a maternal element in Dinah. "Whispering secrets" proves to be an important element in Dinah’s life, as the secrets of women are passed from mother to daughter in a never-ending cycle of life and love. In concordance with the importance placed on mothers in The Red Tent, Dinah’s most prominent mother figures, Leah and Rachel, are instrumental to the plot. When the story begins (i.e. when Jacob arrives), the sisters are fourteen and twelve. They are followed to their deaths, which, although unsaid, would be thought to be in
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