Educated - A Memoir
Tara Westover

by

Sharon Fleming

Chapter 40
Summary

In the final chapter of the memoir, Westover reflects on her past experiences. She states that when she was a child, she waited for her mind to grow, to have more experience, and enable solidification of her choices. Through these experiences, she would be in a position to become the human being she always wanted to be.

Westover states that as she was writing the final words of her story, she had not seen her parents in years — since the funeral of her grandmother. Although her parents had written to her about plans to visit her at Harvard, it never materialized as her father became ill. She was, however, close to Richard, Tyler, and Tony. As such, she was always aware of the ongoing dramas in her family. She would hear of “the injuries, violence and shifting loyalties” that continued to occur in the family (Westover 327). Such information would only come to her as distant hearsay, and she considered this a gift. She does not know whether the separation from her parents is permanent or if she will one day go up to the mountain again. However, she likes the peace that such separation has brought into her life. Finally, she seems to be comfortable with her life.

Analysis

In the chapter, there is a clear indication of the level of satisfaction that a person is likely to have, especially, where she has done all she can. For instance, Westover appears to relish the fact that she was able to beat all odds to scale the ladder of education (Westover 330). The accomplishment normally marks the helm of resilience in the quest to do that which seems to be difficult for an individual. It also provides one with a feeling of more profound attachment to own self. Westover seems to be at peace with the kind of life that she is leading after having attained a higher level of education. She does not seem to be perturbed even though she has not seen her parents for a long time.

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