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Your reaction paper must be at least six and no more than eight pages long. This paper mustbe typed and stapled together. It must be double-spaced in a 12 point font with 1 inch margins all around. Number each page and include your name on each page. Take your writing seriously – pay attention to grammar, spelling and readability! You may turn it in early, but late papers will NOT be accepted.
Make a separate title page (this does not count as one of the six to eight required pages) that includes:
- Your name (Please do NOT include your STUDENT ID number!)
- The name and section of our course (RELG U103-01)
- It must have a Title and Date.
This assignment calls for you to read the chapter by William Dalrymple called The Nun’s Tale about a young Jain nun named Mataji who has decided to fast to death. It is posted on-line at the class website under the Assignments heading.
Read the chapter carefully and briefly introduce Mataji: who is she, and where is she from? Then describe the key events and decisions in her life and answer the following questions. Why did Mataji decide to become a Jain nun? What was the most interesting part (to you) about her decision? What do you think would have been the hardest part of her choice? Then describe her decision to undertake Sallekhana (sometimes called Santhara). What is her attitude toward death? Why do you think that she undertook the vow? End with your own opinion – is this suicide? Should it be allowed in the U.S. and if so why and under what circumstances?