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AFRO- ASIAN LITERATURE: HEBREW LITERATURE: THE STORY OF RUTH

I. Characters
Joseph:
as a young boy, he is shy, modest, and respectful.
as a grown up man, he is humble.
A remarkable interpreter of dreams.
A successful ruler and administrator.
baker : one who dreamed that hes beheaded.
butler: one who is set free.
Pharoah : King of Egypt
Rachel : mother of Joseph
Jacob: father of Joseph
Reuben : the eldest
Benjamin: the youngest
Potiphar : the one who helped Joseph.
Potiphars wife : one who tried to seduce Joseph.
II. Settings
In the great valley of Hebron in Canaan
Beautiful vale of Shechem in Canaan (50 miles away)
A rich land of Egypt.

III. Plot Summary


When Joseph receives a beautiful coat from his parents, his brothers hate him even
more and are driven to sell him to desert merchants who take him to Egypt. There, he was
made the servant of a wealthy Egyptian who misunderstands him and has him thrown
into prison. He shows his God-given gift by interpreting the dreams of two other
prisoners. Eventually, the Pharaoh begins to be plagued by dreams and sends for
Joseph, who interprets them and saves Egypt in the process. He is made second in
command to Pharaoh, and has most of Egypt's grain stored. Eventually his brothers arrive
in Egypt to buy food because of famine, and he must forgive them. Then the dreams that
had angered his brothers were in reality prophecies that had come from God.
IV. Conflict
The conflict surfaces early in the story through Jacob's preferential treatment of Joseph
over his other sons. The conflict is further exacerbated between Jacob and his sons and
Joseph and his brothers when the siblings bitterly recognize this preferential treatment
and develop intense envy and rage. Joseph unwittingly reinforced this conflict by naively
disclosing to his brothers a vivid and immensely meaningful dream that he will rule over

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AFRO- ASIAN LITERATURE: HEBREW LITERATURE: THE STORY OF RUTH

them - and that even his mother and father will bow down in reverence before him. This
disclosure created even greater ill will and animosity among his brothers.
V. Climax
Joseph broke down into tears. He could not control himself any longer and so he sent
the Egyptian men out of the house. Then he revealed to them that he was in fact their
brother, Joseph. He wept so loudly that even the Egyptian household heard it outside. The
brothers were frozen and could not utter a word. He brought them closer and relayed to
them the events that had happened and told them not to fear, that what they had meant for
evil God had meant for good. Then he commanded them to go and bring their father and
his entire household into Egypt to live in the province of Goshen.

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