Educated - A Memoir
Tara Westover

by

Sharon Fleming

Chapter 8
Summary

In Chapter Eight, Westover details her efforts to find work so that she could live a good life and help her family get out of the stressful financial situation they were in. She states that she “wanted to get away from the junkyard and there was only one way to do that, which was the way Audrey had done it: by getting a job” (Westover 76). She points out that the junkyard in which they lived did not provide her with the kind of life that she was interested in. Therefore, she thought it would be wise to follow Audrey’s footsteps, even though she was only eleven years old. She truly believed that by doing this, she would have a chance to live a better life.

Westover found several odd jobs working for people in her community. She babysat for Mary’s children three days a week. She also babysat Eve’s three children on the other days. As she would often be babysitting in the mornings, in the afternoon, she worked at Randy’s packing cashews. Having these multiple jobs enabled her to make an ample income.

Analysis

This chapter demonstrates the dissatisfaction that Westover had with her family’s way of life and the efforts she put toward improving it. After observing her sister’s accomplishments, she decided to follow in her steps and get a job (Westover 81). Westover demonstrates how at a young age of eleven she had already learned that the best way to succeed in life is through hard work and commitment. This is evident when she pursues several jobs and strategically alternates them to maximize her earnings. As she earned money through her hard work, she would eventually be able to move out of her undesired home. This was the first step for her to build herself up from a life of poverty in her enduring effort to ultimately lead to a better life.

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