Chapter 22, “What We Whispered and What We Screamed,” marks a change in Tara Westover‘s journal writing.
Reread the final pages of the chapter, 195-97, and write a short response that describes the change.
Post your response of twenty-five words or more as a reply. Next week we will turn back to your responses as a starting point for our conversations about Educated and the craft of writing.
Remember to check your CVCC email and Blackboard regularly for updates and assignments.
10 thoughts on “ENG 011/101: Educated, Chapter 22”
Westover recalls this moment in her life to be a pivotal one. All her life she was basically brainwashed to think how others wanted her to think, but this showed her that she does have her own thoughts. Maybe she was stronger than she realized and just maybe her voice matters too.
Deep down, past her internal struggle of accepting vulnerability, Westover realizes that she, too, has her own voice. This is revealed in her conflicting journal entries where she writes about a violent event involving Shawn assaulting her and her uncertainty at what to think about it. She bounces back and forth between reasoning that the attack was her fault and Shawn being in the wrong. Her doubt is disclosed as a turning point in the perceiving of her thoughts compared to her family’s.
Throughout Tara’s life, she constantly tries to reason the mental and physical abuse she goes through. At BYU, that night Tara writes in her journal about her encounters with her brother Shawn. We see how she goes from justifying her family’s actions and abuse to realizing the trauma and abuse she has undergone. While she writes in her journal she realizes she has shut off the possibility that perhaps all this time she has had a voice. She can process the truth about her experiences with her family, which has caused her to be confused and trapped. It is at this moment Tara opens her eyes and realizes that her voice is as strong as the others.
Westover appears to have a breakthrough moment while writing in her journal. There is something about the incident with Shawn at the grocery store that changes her view of him, as if this incident was a tipping point in their relationship. Suddenly, Tara writes her entries in a different way that appears to invoke more thought of the male dominance and control that has oppressed her without even realizing it. Suddenly she feels the importance of her own thoughts and voice in comparison to the people who have always spoken and thought for her.
Tara has always protected the image of her family, sometimes at a great personal cost. Her coping mechanism was to act as though nothing could affect her, but the truth was that each incident brought her closer to self realization. She struggles with the idea of being “weak”, but her strength is in her resiliency. No matter what life (or her family) throws at her she rises again. Her conflicting accounts of the incident with Shawn in the parking lot show that light begin to flicker–that realization of her truth instead of the truth she longs for.
Tara is trying to regain control of her own narrative. The process of how the assert the truth about her experiences even in the face of her family. It confuse and entrap her.
Tara finally realizes that her voice means something its just as strong as anyone else. She going through a breakthrough standing up for herself.
Tara in this moment was trying to hide what her brother had done to her. She was also trying hide it from herself as if it were her fault for what Shawn did to her.
tara was trying to hide what her brother did to her then after she had enough courage she finally took a stand for herself
It seems like Tara is protecting herself by putting on a facade and acting as if everything that has happened to her does not phase her. She fears that she is weak but honestly she is a strong person. She has overcame a lot in her life.