Westover's memoir revolves around the conflict between her desire to be educated and her loyalties toward her family. What is it that makes Tara's education incompatible with maintaining a relationship with her parents? Why does she find it so difficult to accept that this is the case?

Tara's education is incompatible with maintaining a relationship with her parents because her parents, who are radical Mormons, believe that education is dangerous and leads people away from God, toward evil and sin.

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The reason why education is incompatible with Tara’s family is the fact that her family is extremely religious. As radical Mormons and isolationists, the Westover family do not believe in any kind of education. This is why Tara is not allowed to go to school, as her parents think that...

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The reason why education is incompatible with Tara’s family is the fact that her family is extremely religious. As radical Mormons and isolationists, the Westover family do not believe in any kind of education. This is why Tara is not allowed to go to school, as her parents think that this would do more harm than good. The title of the book, Educated, underlines the central theme of the book: Tara’s desire to become educated and to broaden her horizon beyond her upbringing in rural Idaho.

Furthermore, Tara’s father believes in certain conspiracy theories. For example, having studied the Bible and Mormon texts in depth, Tara’s father is convinced that the government is purposefully keeping information from its citizens. To him, schools are a method the government uses to influence and to brainwash children. He is obsessed with trying to figure out when the apocalypse will take place, a fact that he believes the government is trying to hide from the general population. The Westover family firmly believe in God and that God will point their life in the right direction. Education, on the other hand, is considered not only unnecessary, but also dangerous and evil. The Westovers believe that education will lead people astray by exposing them to sin.

When Tara finally succeeds in getting an education, she begins to realize that her parents were wrong in censoring their children’s knowledge. This is what makes it so emotionally difficult for Tara to continue her quest for education: not only does Tara begin to question her parent’s decisions, but her family, in return, also questions Tara’s desire to receive an education. Therefore, maintaining a loving relationship with her family is impossible, as her family believe that Tara is being led astray, toward evil and away from God.

Despite all the difficulties she has had with them, however, Tara loves her family. She finds her parents’ lack of interest in her life difficult to cope with and frequently tries to reach out to her family, trying to make amends. Unfortunately, most members of her family do not reciprocate. It is extremely difficult and painful for Tara to come to terms with the fact that her parents no longer consider her a daughter, but an outcast.

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