Educated - A Memoir
Tara Westover

by

Sharon Fleming

Chapter 31
Summary

Westover had gone back to Arizona for a vacation and was about to fly back to England. The day before traveling back to England, she drove to the mountain ranges to pay her sister, Audrey, a visit. She met her sister at home with her four children. During the visit, Audrey showed Westover different types of oils that their mother used to apply including linoleum, eucalyptus, birch, and ravensara. Given the different interests that the sisters had at this point, it was evident that it would be challenging for them to have a deeper conversation with each other. Audrey never asked Westover questions regarding England nor Cambridge. Westover states that “she had no frame of reference for my life, so we talked about hers” (265). Audrey talked about how corrupt the public school system was, which was why she was teaching her children by herself. Like the former Westover, however, Audrey had never attended any public school and knew nothing about it.

Analysis

The stark contrast in the lives of Audrey and Westover is a clear example of the general effects of brainwashing that a person experiences, especially when exposed to a given ideology for an extended time (Westover 267). For instance, Audrey held the belief that the public school system is corrupt even though she had never attended one in her lifetime. Her lack of schooling also appeared to make her lose touch with a lot of things in her life. The problem is evidenced in the fact that she fails to ask Westover about England or Cambridge as she has no connections with such places. Her knowledge is thus limited to the world immediately around her.

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