Educated - A Memoir
Tara Westover


Sharon Fleming

Chapter 36

In the chapter, Westover recalls events that took place during a September afternoon at Harvard University. “It was a sunny September afternoon when I heaved my suitcase through Harvard Yard” (297). She went straight to her room with her suitcase and began to read, Rousseau, Hume, Wollstonecraft, Mill and Smith, Godwin (Westover 297). She got lost in the reading as she tried to understand how the philosophers managed to solve the problems they had identified in the world around them. When she went back to her sketching class, she received an email from her mother telling her that they were coming to Harvard to visit her as they missed her. Westover read the line three times thinking that her mother was joking. She was surprised that her father would fly all the way across the country to see her. He had never visited another state besides Arizona to visit his mother.


The intricate nature of the family and its delicateness has a chance to shake even the strongest and most educated of persons. This is evidenced in this chapter in the break from the tension that had been building up in Westover’s family. The fact that her parents were coming to pay her a visit at Harvard showed that they cared for her. In spite of the differences that she had shared with her father regarding Shawn earlier, he still considered her his daughter and was even willing to travel to see her (Westover 299). This move was necessary for improving their relationship as it would help to strengthen the bond between them.

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