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Maithil Women's TalesStorytelling on the Nepal-India Border$
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Coralynn V. Davis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038426

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038426.001.0001

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Loving Compassion, Maternal Devotion, and the Yearning for Home

Loving Compassion, Maternal Devotion, and the Yearning for Home

Chapter 4 Loving Compassion, Maternal Devotion, and the Yearning for Home
Maithil Women's Tales

Coralynn V. Davis

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on tales in which the virtue of compassion is embodied in the persona of the devoted mother. Collectively, Maithil women's tales assert that maternal devotion presents an especially intensified and idealized form of the otherwise gender undifferentiated virtue of compassion. The action women take based on this maternal sentiment is portrayed as making a positive difference in the lives of children, even other women's children. As mentioned in the previous chapter, a mother may pass on her moral or sinful nature through the sharing of bodily substances. In these ways, through their stories, Maithil women position their own embodied selves as a fundamental source of social virtue.

Keywords:   compassion, maternal devotion, social virtue, Maithil women

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