â€¢ I. Written Paper: Choices, Choices, Choices!
Write a critical analysis of the women’s and girlsâ€™ lives in the historical novel, The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant. Be sure to address both Part One and Part Two of this assignment. (See additional instructions at end of this document.)
PART ONE: Select ONE of the four options:
Option A: Womenâ€™s Communication Styles, Patterns and Relationships with One Another
Describe and analyze womenâ€™s and girlsâ€™ communication styles, patterns and relationships with one another. Be sure also to consider to what extent, if at all, do kinship (family), ethnicity (culture), and the ages of the women and girls affect womenâ€™s communication patterns and relationships. Which concepts and theories from Tannen and Angier best illustrate and/or support your observations? Why these? Explain/use examples.
Option B: Womenâ€™s Communication Styles, Patterns and Relationships with Boys and Men.
Describe and analyze the womenâ€™s and girlsâ€™ communication styles, patterns and relationships with men and boys. Be sure to consider how, if at all, â€œpatriarchyâ€ (cf. menâ€™s power) affects how women communicate in this novel. Also address how, if at all, do women exhibit and share power with men? And consider, how, if at all, do kinship (family), ethnicity (culture) and the ages of women, men, girls and boys affect cross-gender communication? Which concepts and theories from Tannen and Angier best illustrate and/or support your observations? Why these? Explain/use examples.
Option C: Womenâ€™s Communication, Spirituality and Sexuality
Discuss Diamantâ€™s constructions of womenâ€™s spirituality and sexuality in the time of Genesis as revealed in this novel. Consider the following: What are practices in the novel that contribute to womenâ€™s spirituality? How, if at all, are spirituality and sexuality linked? What are the roles of female deities, e.g., goddesses, in the womenâ€™s daily relationships, sexuality, and spiritual life? How, if at all, do the female deities in Canaan and Egypt co-exist with the presumed male â€œGod of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacobâ€ and the gods of Egypt respectively? Finally, how, if at all, does the â€œred tentâ€ itself (as both an actual physical object and a symbolic object) inform and/or sustain the womenâ€™s lives, relationships, spirituality and sexuality? Use course resources, e.g., Angier and Tannen to aid in your analysis.
Option D: Comparing the Women of Genesis and with Their Re-Constructions in The Red Tent
Compare and contrast the [New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) preferred] biblical account of the story of Dinah and her family in Genesis with Diamantâ€™s fictionalized presentation of Dinah and her family in the Red Tent. Identify the major similarities and differences in these two â€œstories.â€ What do you find most provocative about the similarities and differences and why? How, if at all, are gendered-gazes (e.g., male gaze and female gaze) present in these two stories? Explain. How, if at all, does Diamantâ€™s presentation reinforce, expand, and/or challenge your understandings of female/male roles and relationships during the time of Genesis? today? How, if all, does Diamantâ€™s presentation reinforce, expand, and/or challenge your understandings of womenâ€™s relationships with the â€œDivine?â€ Other? Use Angier and other course sources for your analysis. Other outside sources are encouraged but not required.
PART TWO: Recommendations
Discuss why you would or would not recommend this novel. If you would
recommend it, explain to whom you would recommend it to and why. If you
donâ€™t recommend the novel for any group of readers, also explain why.