Posted in Reading, Teaching, Writing

ENG 011/111: Educated, Chapters 25-28

Reading your textual analyses demonstrated that an exercise in integrating quotations would be a valuable follow-up assignment. In academic writing, sentences never begin with quotations. Instead, they’re introduced with signal phrases, such as these:

  • According to Tara Westover,
  • Tara Westover writes that
  • In Westover’s words,

As an example for the comment you will post this week, I have turned back to the comment that Madison wrote last week. First, here is her comment as it appears word for word:

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 about 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.

Here’s my revised version, which introduces three lines from the end of the chapter:

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 about what to think about it. She bounces back and forth between reasoning that the attack was her fault and Shawn being in the wrong. Readers witness her predicament as she reflects on her journal entries. In Westover’s words, “[t]he second entry would not obscure the words of the first. Both would remain, my memories set down alongside his. There was a boldness in not editing for consistency” (197). The bold act of writing her own memory to counter Shawn’s serves as a turning point, a place where her perceptions diverge from her family’s.

What I’ve done with Madison’s comment is what I’m asking you to do with your own response to a passage in our reading for this week.


  1. Write a short response to a passage in Chapter 25, 26, 27, or 28 of Educated.
  2. Include in your response a short quotation with a signal phrase and a parenthetical citation.
  3. If you name Westover in the signal phrase, include only the page number (216).
  4. If you do not name Westover in the signal phrase, include her last name (Westover 216). Note that there’s no comma or page abbreviation.
  5. Post your comment/reply no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8.

For more information on signal phrases, see The Norton Field Guide to Writing and (551-57) and OWL‘s Signal and Lead-in Phrases page.

Remember to check your CVCC email and Blackboard regularly for updates and assignments.

Works Cited

Seagle, Madison. Comment on “ENG 011/111: Educated, Chapter 22.” Jane Lucas, 31 Mar. 2020, 11:36 a.m., Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.

Westover, Tara. Educated. Random House, 2018.

9 thoughts on “ENG 011/111: Educated, Chapters 25-28

  1. Westover seems to display symptoms of trauma after her father is injured in an explosion accident. Upon returning to BYU, she begins to suffer delusions of his wounds on Nick. For example, in her words, Westover describes him taking her hand and everything would be fine for a moment, but suddenly, she would see it as “bloody and clawed” (226), symbolizing her father’s burns. Westover also writes that “[t]he black craters in my father’s chest often materialized on chalkboards, and I saw the sagging captivity of his mouth on the pages of my textbooks” (226), further evidence that there is some trauma involved.

  2. The story the explosion had now become one of legend. A story that was recognized just about everyday at this point. It was as though Westover’s father was now a living prophet of sorts in the way their employees seemed to admire him. Both her father and mother were now in unison sharing what had happened and basking in the devotion from others. Her mother had told a group of women that 65% of his upper body had third-degree burns. According to Tara Westover, “It was only his lower face and hands that had been third-degree. But I kept that to myself” (232). This goes to imply that she didn’t want to correct her mother in front of so many people who were hanging on her every word. This event had allowed her parents to become one mind, as she referenced them, so she decided to just leave it be.

  3. In Educated chapter twenty-five we continually see how Gene’s beliefs blind them to recognize when the Westover’s are injured to the point they need medical attention. They repeatedly make mistakes that cause them or others harm. We see how Gene catches himself on fire as Luke had done years before. On this particular day, Gene had worn a long-sleeved shirt, leather gloves, and a welding shield. In Westover’s words, “His face and fingers took the brunt of the blast. The heat from the explosion melted through the shield as if it were a plastic spoon. The lower half of his face liquified: the fire consumed plastic, then skin, then muscle” (218). Although Gene’s burns were so severe, his pride still managed to get in the way from getting the medical attention he needed. Gene chooses his wife, Faye, remedies to tend to his wounds. Faye attempts to take Gene to the hospital but he makes it clear that he rather die. We see how again Faye attempts to ease his pain by offering to buy Gene pharmaceuticals and yet again he refuses them. Gene insisted that “this was the lord’s pain, and he would feel every part of it” (222). Despite his injuries, Gene still manages to keep his beliefs in place regardless of what life throws at the Westover’s.

  4. Tara has always had a tumultuous relationship with her father, Gene. The two locked horns like billy goats throughout her life. Although they rarely saw eye-to-eye, and she always had the belief that someday they would rectify things between them, having the father-daughter relationship she craved. Westover recounts on the aftermath of her fathers accident, saying “in that moment, I realized how much I’d been counting on that conflict coming to an end, how deeply I believed in a future in which we would be a father and daughter at peace” (221). It took a close call, a true trauma, to give them a chance to appreciate each other and the simple things, like watching The Honeymooners together on VHS. Sometimes to we have to come close to losing people to realize just how much we need them, and to put aside petty differences, accepting people just as they are.

  5. Emily and Shawn are getting engaged and the family is very much confused. Emily has good faith in Shawn saying that “he’s a spiritual man. god has given him a special calling to help people. he told me how helped Sadie. and how he helped you.” Tara (225) is very distrot at the fact that Emily said that to her.

  6. In chapter 25 of Educated, it starts with a reflection on a story about Westover’s grandfather which she was told when she was still young. The story was about, “Grandpa-down-the-hill and how he got the dent above his right temple” (Westover 216). Grandpa-down-the-hill was riding a horse when he was still young and the horse threw him off her back. From the fall, it caused Grandpa to have a disc caved into his forehead forcing his brains out.

  7. Tara Westover writes “I lay awake in the dark next Emily, listening to the crickets I was trying to image how to begin the conversation— how to tell her she shouldn’t marry my brother— when she spoke. “I want to talk to you about Shawn”. She said. “I know he’s got some problems”. “He does,” I said. “He’s a spiritual man,” Emily said. “God has given him a special calling. To help people. He told me how he helped Sadie. And how he helped you”. He didn’t help me”. I wanted to say more, to explain to Emily what the bishop had explained to me”. But they were his words not mine. I had no words. I had come fifty miles to speak, and was mute”.(224-225)

    My Revision
    ​I came all this way and for what. I couldn’t bring myself to say anything about Shawn. I could have told her something. For example, the way Shawn treated Sadie and I. Choking me, he might have killed me if mother or Tyler were not there to talk him. I could have told Emily that he doesn’t help people”. Especially the way he manipulated Sadie”.

  8. in chapter 27 it explains how she went to BYU to study music but that fall semester she didnt enroll into a single music course. instead of music she was learning about politics and history stuff that was kinda useful too know but it wasnt her main focus or goal to learn about the other stuff other than music. (westover 228) ” This caused a kind of crisis in me. My love of music, and my desire to study it had been compatible of my idea of what a women is.”

  9. Tara Westover continues to wrestle with the idea that she belongs in college. Dr. Kerry and Professor Steinberg urge her to see herself as a scholar. In Westover’s words, ” I wanted to believe him, to take his words and remake myself, but I’d never had that kind of faith.” (242). Even as Tara crosses oceans there are people who believe in her and see her potential. Although she finds solace at Cambridge, she tells herself she doesn’t belong because she is poor, because of her class and status. This is just another example of how Tara’s upbringing is hindering her to see there is a completely different world outside of Buck’s Peak, a world full of truths that continuously contradict more and more of her father’s doctrine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s