In chapter 5, Westover's brother Tyler announces that he is going to college, something none of her other sibling have done. Why does Westover's father, Gene, object to formalized education? How does Tyler's leaving have an impact on Westover?

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Early in Westover's memoir, we learn that her father is very anti-establishment and wants his family to live "off the grid" -- so much so that the children don't even have birth certificates. Though the children are "home-schooled," Westover reveals that their education is very limited, and their father mostly...

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Early in Westover's memoir, we learn that her father is very anti-establishment and wants his family to live "off the grid" -- so much so that the children don't even have birth certificates. Though the children are "home-schooled," Westover reveals that their education is very limited, and their father mostly expects them to help with manual labor. Westover's father seems to fear the influence of the outside world on his children and seeks to indoctrinate them in his own beliefs. For a time, the author follows her father's wishes unquestioningly, but Tyler's decision to leave home and go to college changes Westover's sense of her options.

Tyler's leaving for college affects Westover in a couple of significant ways. For one, she loses a family member with whom she has been close. Westover reflects on times she and Tyler listened to records in his room, and he exposed her to some of her favorite music. She remembers their relationship nostalgically and is understandably upset to have one less ally at home in what was a very difficult living situation. Secondly, Tyler offers Westover a sort of blueprint for her own escape from the home and entry into the world of higher education. Westover later attends BYU, and continues to explore various educational opportunties before writing her memoir.

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