The Red Tent

Red Tent QuestionHistory 105: Women in History Focus Questions: The Red TentThe questions below are designed to guide and focus your reading through The Red Tent. We will use these questions as jumping off point for in-class discussions, so answer them thoughtfully and thoroughly using direct evidence (quotes) from the text to support your answers.1. Consider the marital dynamics of Jacob’s family. He has four wives. Think about the wives’ relationships with each other and relationships with Jacob. What is your opinion of the relationships between the wives in this family? What seem to be the advantages/disadvantages (for men, for women, and for children) of a man having multiple wives in the particular time/place in which the narrative takes place? Be specific and detailed in your answers.2. Who is Inna? What is her relationship to Jacob’s family? Why might she be an important asset to the family?3. How do Dinah’s mothers react when Jacob announces major changes (moving location, meeting Esau and so on) that affect the entire family? Does Jacob consult his wives or ask their opinion? What does Jacob seem to expect from his wives in this regard?4. When Dinah visits her grandmother, Rebecca, she is traumatized by an incident between Rebecca and one of Esau’s daughters, Tabea. According to the narrative, why did Rebecca react so violently? What was at stake for her?5. What is the significance of the Red Tent ceremony to Jacob’s wives (and his daughter, Dinah)? How does he react when he learns about the ceremony through one of his daughters-in-law? Why might he react in such a way? What is at stake for him as a patriarch? What is the effect on the family, his wives, on Dinah?

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