Educated - A Memoir
Tara Westover

by

Sharon Fleming

Chapter 4
Summary

In the chapter, Westover talks of the ingenious decision that her mother made when her father was facing death. Earlier on, her father had promised that he was going to, “build the biggest snowball in the state of Idaho” (Westover 31). The snowball was to be built right after Christmas of 1999 when the snow had reached desirable heights. Westover’s father made the snowball to show his children that he cared about them and that they meant a lot to him. Unfortunately, her father’s health started deteriorating right after Christmas. Her father was thus, unable to fulfil his promise of making the snowball due to his poor health conditions. It is then that Westover’s mother decided for the family to move to their grandparent’s home in Arizona. It was warm there, and the father needed to be “planted in the sun” to recover (Westover 34). The heat of the Arizona desert thus provided the ideal environment that enabled Westover’s father to recuperate from illness.

Analysis

This chapter brings to light Westover’s mother’s wisdom as she looks after her family. It also demonstrates Faye as a woman who is fully aware of her family by the strengths and capabilities that they have (Westover 35). Therefore, in spite of the health challenge that befell her husband, she is full of faith that he will recuperate and attain his former state of health. She knows that when her husband is exposed to the sun in Arizona, he will manage to reach a better state of health.

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