Chapter 1: Knowing that Rachel, Leah, Bilhah, and Zilpah are all related adds to the complication and development of the characters. The configuration of the sisters that are almost old enough to be married being interested in the same man adds to the complex web of their female relationships. You can see in this first chapter how the plot evolves to show in later chapters how having a shared husband between the four sisters creates an obvious strain on their relationships.
Chapter 2: There is an enormous difference between childbirth in these biblical times compared to today. In “The Red Tent”, childbirth is described as a woman’s battle between life and death, whereas today we have advanced medical care so that death during childbirth is much more rare. Having a midwife to help you deliver your baby was considered a luxury, instead of today where almost every woman today has someone (usually a doctor or a nurse) to assist with the birth. When giving birth to a child, Diamat repeatedly mentions the woman standing on bricks, where today women have comfortable hospital beds.
Chapter 3: In the beginning of this chapter, Rachel is very depressed from having many miscarriages and not being able to provide a son for Jacob. She retreats deeper and deeper into her shell until a few weeks after she spends a night with her husband. She thinks she is pregnant, but doesn’t tell anyone or get her hopes up because she thinks she’ll just end up having another miscarriage. Near the end of the chapter she is singing and feeling very happy that she might actually deliver her first baby boy. When Joseph is born, she becomes positively blissful with joy, and goes back to her normal, happy self.
Chapter 1: Dinah’s aunts and her mother all share their secrets, adult conversation, and talents with her, hoping that through her they will live on. Dinah was the only daughter in the whole family, and all the sisters treated her as their own. Diamant