Educated - A Memoir
Tara Westover

by

Sharon Fleming

Chapter 5
Summary

This chapter discusses a conversation that Westover’s father had with his family. It was only a month after an accident he had at the junkyard, and he was reading a Bible scripture to the family in the living room. As the father was reading the Bible, Tyler, Westover’s brother, cut his father short and told the family that he was leaving and going off to college. Everyone seemed appalled, and they did not know how the father would respond to this news. Westover indicates that “…his expression was folded, impassive” (Westover 41). No one would have guessed the kind of thoughts he held regarding the words that he had just heard.

As expected, their father had a negative perception about college. He demonstrated a lack of trust in what goes on in colleges implying that even colleges only tell lies. Notably, he suggested that in college, there are two kinds of professors, those who know they are telling lies and those who think they are telling the truth. According to Westover’s father, going to college was not of any importance to his son because all lessons are about lies. He was, therefore, not going to support the idea of his son going to college.

Analysis

Given the fact that Westover’s father had a negative view regarding education, there was a chance that he would influence his children’s future life (Westover 45). Formal education to him was some form of brainwashing against the general principles that he stood for. He needed to guide his children in a way that would improve their view of life as well as their adherence to the Biblical teachings he had provided them throughout their upbringing. This chapter shows how the views that an influential figure, no matter how right or wrong they may seem to be, can have on other people and later on influence the way they do things.

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