1. Tara Westover’s memoir
recounts her life as the daughter of Mormon survivalist parents who leaves
rural Idaho to pursue an education. What do you think she’s referring to
with the title Educated? And what statement do you think the book
makes on education at large?
2. Westover’s quest for an
education is a dramatic rebellion by her father’s standards. How does her
rebellion differ from that of her older brother Tyler, if at all?
3. Do you think being the
youngest child in the family impacted Westover ultimately leaving her
family? Would it have made a difference if she’d been the oldest child?
4. Why is it significant that
Westover didn’t know the word “holocaust” and had no knowledge of race
issues in the United States?
5. Which family member had the
biggest influence on Westover’s quest for a different life? Which non-family
members were influential on her life?
6. Westover’s life changes
dramatically thanks to an encouraging professor at Brigham Young University.
How might her life be different if she hadn’t applied for the study abroad
program at Cambridge University?
7. Westover eventually finds
her voice and realizes it’s just as powerful as the people who have
influenced her life. What is voice, and how important is it that every child
be encouraged to find their own?
8. What impact does Westover’s
pursuit of formal education have on her parents and family?
9. How does education change
Westover’s view of her childhood? How does she come to terms with how she
was raised once she knows the value of education?
10. Westover makes great
efforts to ensure the story is as objective as possible, including footnotes
where accounts of an event differ, or comparing her diary entries to her
memory. As a reader, how important is objectivity in this story, and more
largely, in memoirs in general?
11. At 30, Westover is still
relatively close in age to the events that occur in this book. How do you
think the memoir would be different were it written when Tara was
significantly older and more distanced from this time in her life? In what
ways would it alter your interpretation of these experiences?