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Discussion Archives > September 2018: Educated - A Memoir

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message 1: by Rachel Jorquera , Moderator (last edited Sep 05, 2018 09:46AM) (new)

Rachel Jorquera  (racheljorquera) | 2955 comments Mod
Discussion for Educated: A Memoir starts here!

Discussion Questions (hit show spoiler to view them!)

(view spoiler)

message 2: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1389 comments Perfect timing ... I just got an email from the library that my audiobook has arrived.

message 3: by Rachel Jorquera , Moderator (new)

Rachel Jorquera  (racheljorquera) | 2955 comments Mod
Book Concierge wrote: "Perfect timing ... I just got an email from the library that my audiobook has arrived."

Wow! That is perfect timing!!

message 4: by Rachel Jorquera , Moderator (new)

Rachel Jorquera  (racheljorquera) | 2955 comments Mod
Discussion Questions are up for this one as well!

message 5: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (spirolim) | 118 comments Just finished this one! Wow!

1. Many of Tara’s father’s choices have an obvious impact on Tara’s life, but how did her mother’s choices influence her? How did that change over time?
It's seems as though her mother's choices influenced her a little more subtly and quietly than her father. Some of those choices involved questioning the father and his methods, other times it involved sticking with the family and it's beliefs no matter what. I think it was some of her mother's choices that seemed to help Tara start to question her father and the idea that women had to be totally submissive to their husbands.

2. Tara’s brother Tyler tells her to take the ACT. What motivates Tara to follow his advice?
Tyler gave her a lifeline by suggesting she take the ACT. She was living in world where she didn't feel like she had a choice, but Tyler gave her an opportunity to see and choose a different path. The fact that this opportunity came around the time she was being abused by her brother made that choice easier to make, I think.

3. Charles was Tara’s first window into the outside world. Under his influence, Tara begins to dress differently and takes medicine for the first time. Discuss Tara’s conflicting admiration for both Charles and her father.

4. Tara has titled her book Educated and much of her education takes place in classrooms, lectures, or other university environments. But not all. What other important moments of "education" were there? What friends, acquaintances, or experiences had the most impact on Tara? What does that imply about what an education is?
In this book, Tara shows that education is just about what you learn in the classroom; your education happens at home as well. Most of what you learn about life is heavily influenced by your family members, either by what they tell you, or by what you observe. We frequently learn by example (which is why parents are told "if you want your kids to read, you have to read yourself, because they copy what you do"), so a lot of Tara's decisions and ideas/opinions come from what she sees her mother, father, and older brothers doing. It's a life education.

5. Eventually, Tara confronts her family about her brother’s abuse. How do different members of her family respond?
This was the part that surprised me a little bit. I found it interesting that Audrey and her mother supported her completely at first, but then changed their minds once her father got it into his head that there was no problem with Shawn. It amazes how strong of an influence the father had on most of the family.

6. What keeps Tara coming back to her family as an adult?
I can see why she keeps trying to connect with her family. These are her parents after all. Can you imagine trying to completely cut off your family after they've raised you? She still loves her family, so it's just hard to let go of them so completely.

7. Ultimately, what type of freedom did education give Tara?
Education, the formal kind anyway, gave Tara the ability to view things differently, to open up her mind to other possibilities and other opinions. It gave her the chance to explore the world and expand her horizons beyond her family's home. It gave her the chance to choose her own path and make her own decisions, rather than allow others to make the decisions for her.

8. Tara wrote this at the age of thirty, while in the midst of her healing process. Why do you think she chose to write it so young, and how does this distinguish the book from similar memoirs?
Most people write their memoirs long after the events happened, and they're able to look back on things more easily. Because Tara wrote this while she was still healing, this memoir has more emotion to it. The pain and the memories are fresher, so she can describe them more accurately; we therefore end up with a better understanding of how she was feeling at the time and why she chose to do things a certain way.

9. Tara paid a high price for her education: she lost her family. Do you think she would make the same choice again?
I think so. Mind you, she didn't lose the entire family; she only lost the portion that chose to not believe her. There's another half of the family that continues to support her and her claims.

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