The red tent

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?

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?

What is the significance of the Red Tent ceremony to Jacob’s wives (and his daughter, Dinah)? How does he react when he’s told about the ceremony from 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?

In what ways does Dinah’s life change after she meets Shalem? How do the roles and status of women differ in Egyptian culture? In what ways is Dinah’s life different after she moves to Egypt?