Essay on The Red Tent by Diamant

Essay on The Red Tent by Diamant

Length: 1734 words (5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Red Tent by Diamant


In Diamant’s powerful novel The Red Tent the ever-silent Dinah from the 34th chapter of Gensis is finally given her own voice, and the story she tells is a much different one than expected. With the guiding hands of her four “mothers”, Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah, all the wives of Jacob, we grow with Dinah from her childhood in Mesoptamia through puberty, where she is then entered into the “red tent”, and well off into her adulthood from Cannan to Egypt. Throughout her journey we learn how the red tent is constantly looked upon for encouragement, solace, and comfort. It is where women go once a month during menstration, where they have their babies, were they dwell in illness and most importantly, where they tell their stories, passing on wisdom and spinning collective memories. “Their stories were like the offerings of hope and strength poured out before the Queen of Heavens, only these gifts were not for any god or goddess—but for me” (3). It essentially becomes a symbol of womanly strength, love and learning and serves as the basis for relationships between mothers, sisters, and daughters.
With a heart-full of advice and wisdom, Dinah maturates from a simple- minded young girl to a valiant independent individual. “For a moment I weighed the idea of keeping my secret and remaining a girl, the thought passes quickly. I could only be what I was. And that was a woman” (170). This act of puberty is not only her initiation into womanhood but the red tent as well. She is no longer just an observer of stories, she is one of them, part of their community now. On account of this event, Dinah’s sensuality begins to blossom and she is able to conceive the notion of true love.

It is at this point in the story, Diamant’s use of creative midrash is at its best. Midrashim is used to forge clever and innovative stories from loop-holes in biblical text. It is a way of elaborating on what was already written and shedding light onto those who are pushed aside as meaningless characters or events. In chapter 7 Diamant successfully transforms what was once looked upon as brutal rape into an animated love saga. In order to understand how she is able to pull of such an imaginative tale, we must look to the biblical narrative itself. Shortly after Jacob's reunion with his twin brother Esau, Jacob settles in the city of Shechem. There, his dau...


... middle of paper ...


...otsteps from her female mentors from the red tent, becoming a mother and wife, but most importantly, someone to keep the memories and tales alive.

Diamant’s magic enables a romance to flower from violence and the formulation of a “voiceless cipher” into an ingenious being transpire (1). She forces the reader see that in the eyes of trial and tragedy, happiness and love, we find reflections of ourselves no matter the age gap. She emphasizes that such a task could not happen if not for the “scolding, teaching, cherishing, giving, and cursing one with different fears (2),” that “summon up the innumerable smiles, tears, sighs and dreams of human life” (321). All this, Diament reminds all females, can be sequestered in the red tent.

*All in all I would say that this novel is definitely a good read. I found my self at times relating my own thoughts and experiences to that of the characters in the book. This is the very reason I would recommend that you give your class next semester the option of reading either this book or another. From my point of view, I think that most men can not relate to certain situations that occur, which lessens the overall significance of her writing.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

- The Red Tent by Anita Diamant 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 complic...   [tags: Red Tent Anita Diamant Essays]

Free Essays
4949 words (14.1 pages)

Essay about The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant

- Since the advent of ordered civilization, patriarchal rule has held dominion over the kingdoms of men. Women have had equally as many influential, inspirational and imperative tales to be told as men, however their voices have been marginalized, neglected, iniquitously subjugated, and bound by the ineffable chains of bondage for centuries. One need only possess a cursory knowledge of biblical history to recognize immediately the lowly status of women in the ancient Hebrew world. There is nary a better sourcebook of patriarchy and the proscriptive treatment of women in all of literature than that of the Old Testament....   [tags: Bible, Comparison, Women]

Powerful Essays
2339 words (6.7 pages)

The Red Tent - An Unforgettable Testimony to Women’s Strength and Power

- The Red Tent - An Unforgettable Testimony to Women’s Strength and Power The Red Tent by Anita Diamant illuminates one of the greatest testimonies to women’s strength: childbirth. On a creative level, Diamant did something extraordinary. She took a small passage from the Bible about the character Dinah, and made her story into an unforgettable testimony to women’s strength and power. Overlooking women’s role in Biblical life is easy because there is practically nothing written by or about women....   [tags: Red Tent Essays]

Powerful Essays
3864 words (11 pages)

Essay on The Red Tent: My Reaction

- In her book, The Red Tent, Anita Diamant attempts to expound upon the foundations laid by the Torah by way of midrashim. In doing so, parts of her stories tend to stray from the original biblical text. The following essay will explore this and several other aspects of the book as they relate to the Torah and modern midrash. One of the first differences I recognized was the description of Leah’s eyes. In Genesis 29:17, Leah’s eyes are described as weak. Diamant dispels this ‘rumor’, saying that Leah’s eyes, one blue and one green, “made others weak” because most people had difficulty looking her in the face....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1565 words (4.5 pages)

The Red Tent And Stranger Essay

- What does it mean to be Jewish or Muslim, or even Christian. What does an understanding of the history that intertwines faith and culture matter to how we live within those religious labels. The Red Tent and Stranger to History, while both using a different perspective, explores the connection between history, culture, and faith traditions, and how we must look at the past to understand our own present and future. Religious experience is distinctly different for women than it is for men, which is evident in Diamant’s portrayal of the silent roles females played in pre-Jewish culture....   [tags: Religion, Islam, Christianity, Judaism]

Powerful Essays
1301 words (3.7 pages)

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

- ... 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....   [tags: bible, violence, legacy]

Powerful Essays
1394 words (4 pages)

There Is A Camel Of The Tent Essay

- There is a Camel in the Tent My wife and I have 3 children: 8, 18, and 24. Jen, my beautiful bride, and I have been married now, approaching 9 years. My oldest, just earned her Associates Degree from Aim Community College; Jamie the 18 year old; making her way through her Sr. year of school, Kari, the family self-proclaimed princess, now in second grade, is struggling with reading in the 2nd grade, just as I did. By the time Jamie, reached the end if her 5th grade year, she was performing at the 3rd grade level in math and reading....   [tags: High school, Educational years, Education, Wage]

Powerful Essays
838 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on The Big Tent

- The Big Tent Billy Graham was a very well known evangelist from the 20th century, who became famous not just by the contents of his preaches but also because of his close relationship with notorious politicians and famous leaders of those times, that helped him become the symbol of the evangelism by “branding the evangelicalism as the mainstream American faith” (The Big Tent 31). Graham’s religious beliefs went from the fundamentalism in which he was raised , to a open and liberal conception of faith, ending up in what was called the New Evangelical approach to religion, a more moderate and tolerant way of interpreting God’s message....   [tags: Billy Graham]

Free Essays
1002 words (2.9 pages)

Free Essays - Boys to Men in The Red Badge of Courage

- Boys to Men in Red Badge of Courage    The Civil War took more American lives than any other war in history.  It divided the people of the United States, so that in many families brother fought brother.  The four years of bloodshed left a legacy of grief and bitterness that remains in part even today.  The war started on April twelfth, 1861 in Charleston, South Carolina.  It ended four years later on April ninth, 1865.  Many people call this tragic conflict the War Between the States, the War of the Rebellion, the War of the Secession, or the War for southern Independence.  But regardless of what it is called, the war was a great turning point in American history....   [tags: The Red Badge of Courage]

Free Essays
1118 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Fantasies and Realities in Red Badge Of Courage

- Fantasies and Realities in The Red Badge Of Courage           In The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane the main character, Henry Fleming, thought he understood the war between the North and the South.  However, his understanding came “from his knowledge of fairy tales and mythology”(Gibson 21).  Henry thought that he was like the heroes that he read about in these stories.  He soon learned that real war was very different from his imaginative expectations.  Crane took Henry’s fantasies and contrasted them with the realities of the war to develop this main character into a mature person....   [tags: Red Badge Courage Essays]

Powerful Essays
2479 words (7.1 pages)