Study Guide

The Red Tent Fear

By Anita Diamant


There's a lot to be afraid about as a woman growing up in Jacob's family in The Red Tent. First off, there's childbirth, which is not only painful but dangerous—for these gals, there's a real chance they'll die when they're popping one out. But that's just the beginning: as a woman, you could pretty easily be raped, murdered, sold into slavery, disowned by your family… all of that and more can happen at any moment. One of the only places to escape from this constant state of fear is inside the red tent.

Questions About Fear

  1. What does Dinah fear the most?
  2. What's worse for the women in this book: the fear of pain, or the fear of death? Neither? Both?
  3. Does Jacob fear his wives?
  4. Rebecca was a frightening authority figure. Why didn't she scare Leah?

Chew on This

It's fear that helps Leah move on after each tragedy she faces.

When giving birth, women in the novel fear losing their baby more than they fear losing their own lives.