Study Guide

The Red Tent Youth

By Anita Diamant


We all remember what it was like to be a child: everything was carefree, we'd play on the swings, and we'd say things without thinking. Well, the children in The Red Tent are pretty much the same. Because, well, they're children too. They just live in a way different time period.

The Red Tent focuses mainly on Dinah's childhood, as well as on the childhoods of the daughters of Laban. For these girls, the first time they bleed is a major event that completely transforms their lives. In this society, once a girl has bled, she's marriageableā€”and that means not only a hubby but also a baby is sure to be on the way. Youth is pretty sure back in the old biblical times.

Questions About Youth

  1. Is Dinah an immature child? Is she spoiled?
  2. Why do the women in this book want to rush into womanhood?
  3. Jacob is pretty distant from Dinah during her childhood. Does this have a profound effect on her? Is it negative? Positive?

Chew on This

Dinah's mothers dote on her too much as a child; they are too lenient as mothers.

Re-mose's childhood causes Dinah more pain than pleasure.