In this section of the novel, the caravan description was beautiful to me. It is a moving village, offering food, protection, and company for the travelers as they move towards their destination.
In class we spent a great deal of time talking about the way the slave girl was so easily and nonchalantly traded. There has been a great deal of discussion in the previous blogs about arranged marriage, the treatment of women (as second class citizens) and slavery. I find all of this fascinating. It is interesting to think of Miriam as having almost a slave status. She is essentially traded, or almost traded, to a man just for business reasons. “Marriage” certainly can be seen here as just a synonym for slavery, or ownership.
I don’t really find this that surprising, as a few other bloggers have. A 17 year old having an arranged marriage today is a lot different (hopefully) than Miriam’s arranged marriage would have been. Today arranged marriage happens as a way to ensure a good union, and keep a daughter safe. Miriam’s almost marriage was strictly for business means, as were many marriages in those times. Daughters were expensive to keep around, they just ate all the food without giving much back, they certainly weren’t going to carry on the family name and fortune (for it would either die with them if they weren’t married, or go to their husband if they were).
As for the Western world, marriage is still a hot topic. Marriage has seemed to have become less of a trade thing and more of a status symbol. If you are married in the United States today, you are able to merge funds, health insurance, and more easily take care of the people around you. Right now marriage seems to be able to ensure the first class status of hetero-couples. I guess it hasn’t really come all that far from ensuring the first class status of the patriarchy back in the day.