There are several purposes of Educated: A Memoir. One key purpose, as other educators have noted, is to stress the importance of obtaining a conventional structured education, as Tara, the protagonist in the story, ultimately does. However, I would also argue that another important purpose is to show that despite outward signs of religious fervor and adherence, people often behave in ways that their religion would condemn.
In the book, Tara’s father is presented as an authoritarian figure who can be rather frightening in many ways. His unconventional way of thinking about education, preferring home schooling over public school, and his tyrannical passion often causes tension in the home and is a key conflict in the book.
One of the children, Tara’s brother, leaves to escape the confined life he knew growing up and the ever present tension that overhangs the family life. Another brother hides violent tendencies, which the reader cannot fail to realize is an outcome of the children’s...
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