Study Guide

The Red Tent Part Three, Chapter One

By Anita Diamant

Part Three, Chapter One

  • Not only did Simon and Levi kill most of the men in the palace, but they also killed many women, including Ashnan.
  • The only man who survived was Nehesi, Re-nefer's steward and guard. He also saved Re-nefer from being stabbed to death.
  • Nehesi brings Dinah back to Re-nefer, and she blames herself (not Dinah) for the bloodbath.
  • Surprisingly, Re-nefer still shows great love for Dinah; she wants a grandchild.
  • But since Canaan is basically a wreck, Re-nefer decides to sail away to Egypt with Dinah and Nehesi. There's a horrible storm on the way that nearly shipwrecks them, but they survive the journey.
  • Don't worry: Dinah doesn't go into tremendous detail about the storm, Aeneas-style.
  • On the way, Dinah doesn't have her period when a new moon arrives, meaning she is most likely pregnant.
  • Re-nefer tells Dinah the plan: when they reach Egypt, Dinah will be called her daughter-in-law, and Re-nefer will be Dinah's mistress. Dinah will give birth to a son on Re-nefer's knees, and he will be a prince of Egypt.
  • Er, remember last time Re-nefer came up with a plan? That one didn't go so well.
  • Anyway, Dinah keeps having horrible nightmares about waking up with her dead husband, and Re-nefer tries her best to calm Dinah down by telling cheerful stories of her youth.
  • Re-nefer and Dinah finally reaches Egypt, and there Re-nefer meets up with her brother, Nakht-re. She tells him the whole tragic story of Canaan, and Dinah stands there feeling pretty awkward.
  • Then Dinah collapses. Way to go.
  • But Egypt is pretty chill.
  • Everyone is really nice to Dinah, even Herya, Nakht-re's wife. Herya has to deal with a random foreign girl and her long lost sister (Re-nefer), but she's still cool to them.
  • Dinah is pretty bored though, and since she doesn't speak the language, she doesn't get to join in on many conversations.
  • So Dinah ends up taking pleasure in sweeping and cleaning staircases.
  • One day, Herya sees Dinah and pokes her belly, saying, "Taweret," which is the goddess of the sea that Dinah saw in her dreams once. This is also the goddess that Inna told Dinah about.
  • Herya then says, "Boy," predicting the sex of the child.
  • And whaddya know, Dinah ends up giving birth to a baby boy.
  • But Dinah'd be the first to tell you that it was the worst pain ever, and that she was really close to dying; she even had to have someone cut her open with part of a knife so that the baby could come out.
  • We know: gross.
  • Though Dinah wants to name the baby Bar-Shalem, Re-nefer wants to name him Re-mose. Remember, the boy is technically Re-nefer's child.
  • Dinah has a rough time calling the boy Re-mose, but she concedes when Re-nefer nastily threatens to throw her out on the street.
  • Things goes pretty well from then on—finally. A feast is held for Re-mose, and he gives Dinah great joy. When he grows older, he's even told that his mother is indeed Dinah.
  • But as we all know, all good things must come to an end: Re-mose grows older, and as he grows older, he starts to become a bit distant from Dinah.
  • By the age of eight, Re-mose is hanging out with Nakht-re more than Dinah, and he even starts sleeping on the roof.
  • Then, at age nine, Re-mose is sent off to school, leaving Dinah lonely again. Her dreams immediately shift to nightmares.
  • But to be fair, Re-mose definitely treats Dinah well before he laves; he tries consoling his mother, and he tells her he'll come back and build her a house.