Child-Bearing Role of the Women and Midwifery in the Novel THE RED TENT
The Red Tent, a novel by Anita Diamant, is a revelation of the decrepitude of the ancient womanhood. It puts forth very vividly the doctrines of the creaky womanhood. The story revolves around Dinah, the only daughter of Leah and Jacob, and has also been exhilarated by a few lines from the Genesis. The entire storyline is based on the theme of redemption and resurrection. The Red Tent is told in Dinah’s voice and clinches with Dinah’s own alarming and unforgettable story of betrayal, grief and love. It gives edification into women’s society in a spellbinding period of early history. The present paper attempts to highlight the suffering of women during childbirth and what all they have to go through in the process. Women enter the Red Tent during the new moon when on their periods, pregnant or while breastfeeding. The women do not work during the new moon. After the birth of a baby boy, mothers rest from one moon to the next, but after giving birth to a baby girl, i.e. to a birth–giver, the mothers are subjected to a long period of separation from the world of men. The present study depicts how death is the shadow of birth and the price which women have to pay for the honour of giving life - some women die during childbirth and some die of fever after childbirth. Dinah, the protagonist gets a lot of insights into the plight of women while working as a mid-wife.
Keywords - Child-Bearing; Midwifery; Creaky Womanhood; Plight of Women