Week 6, The Sign of Orpah, Laura E. Donaldson,(Sugirtharajah)

November 5, 2007

“For these interpreters, Ruth’s love embodies the love of a woman-identified woman who is forced into the patriarchal institutions of levirate marriage in order to survive.” (161) Survival as reason for marriage presents a startling contrast to what women in developing countries experience today. However, I do think that women do still feel some pressure to marry that men do not that is related in part to subtle patriarchal undertones within our culture today. This reasoning for Ruth’s marriage to Boab was not the central thrust of this article, rather as a possible reason for why she did not return to her people. This led to the author asking the reader to consider the difference between Orpah and Ruth in their allegiances to their native communities and whether Ruth’s choice to leave hers reflects an honorable choice. 

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