Favorite Quotes from Educated!

Educated was easily one of the most well-written, gripping stories I have ever read. I had a hard time narrowing down my favorite quotes- but these were definitely some of them! I highlighted a good portion of this book just out of pure admiration of Tara Westover’s insightful, vivid and beautiful writing. Others were the power of the words- the way she was able to put universal experiences into words in a genius way.

“It would be past dusk by then- that moment just before night sets in, when the landscape is visible only as darkness and lighter darkness, and you feel the world around you more than you see it.” (Ch. 1, p. 7).

“It’s a tranquility born of sheer immensity; it calms with its very magnitude, which renders the merely human of no consequence.” (Ch. 3, p. 27).

“but the notion that a person could be functional, lucid, persuasive, and something could still be wrong, had never occurred to me.” (Ch. 3, p. 29)

“Dad lived in fear of time. He felt it stalking him.” (Ch. 6, p. 55)

“The skill I was learning was a crucial one, the patience to read things I could not yet understand.” (Ch. 6, p. 62)

“To admit uncertainty is to admit to weakness, to powerlessness, and to believe in yourself despite both. It is a frailty, but in this frailty there is a strength: the courage to live in your own mind, and not in someone else’s”. (Ch. 22, p. 197).

“Not knowing for certain, but refusing to give way to those who claim certainty, was a privilege I had never allowed myself. My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.” (Ch. 22, p. 197)

“He had defined me to myself, and there’s no greater power than that.” (Ch. 23, p. 199).

“His voice was gentle, and that gentleness was cruel.” (Ch. 23, p. 200).

“Curiosity is a luxury reserved for the financially secure:…” (Ch. 23, p. 203).

“I began to experience the most powerful advantage of money: the ability to think of things besides money.” (Ch. 24, p. 207).

“I knew what it was to have a misconception corrected- a misconception of such magnitude that shifting it shifted the world.” (Ch. 28, p. 238).

“I could tolerate any form of cruelty better than kindness”. (Ch. 28, p. 240).

“I felt exposed by the elegance and yet somehow made invisible by it”. (Ch. 28, p. 241).

“This monster child stalked me for a month before I found a logic to banish her: that I was likely insane. If I was insane, everything could be made to make sense. If I was sane, nothing could. The logic seemed damning. It was also a relief. I was not evil; I was clinical.” (Ch. 35, p. 294).

“When I was a child, I waited for my mind to grow, for my experiences to accumulate and my choices to solidify, taking shape into the likeness of a person.” (Ch. 40, p. 327).

“But vindication has no power over guilt. No amount of anger or rage directed at others can subdue it, because guilt is never about them. Guilt is the fear of one’s own wretchedness. It has nothing to do with other people.” (Ch. 40, p. 327).

Have you read Educated? Would love to discuss it more!



8 thoughts on “Favorite Quotes from Educated!

  1. Yes I’ve read it! I believe I read it via NetGalley so it’s been awhile. Yes, I remember that it really moved me- such a different family life. I even thought about the book as we drove through the mountains this summer. Here’s my review:

    This is the author’s memoir. She learned that she must tell her own story, not her sibling’s story or her father’s story, but her own. And in her own story she also came to know what it meant to be part of a family- “how a person ought to weigh their special obligations to kin against their obligations to society was a whole.”

    The author uses beautiful, somewhat complex language, which will inspire you to think and ponder, to paint her life as a young girl in rural Idaho and how this sheltered soul earned her PhD from Cambridge. Many of the scenes are focused on the mountain, Buck Peak, near her Idaho homestead, which guided her life.

    Her father was like the feral horses that roamed this mountain. He could not be owned, and he could not be tamed. Her father was the incarnate of the Mormon prophets that he revered. He loved his family with the love and wrath of the Old Testament God.

    Prophets in modern America have it hard and their families suffer even more. The author and her siblings lived the life that the early Western pioneers would have recognized- hard physical work, serious injuries, no formal schooling and limited contact with others. This Spartan life became another mountain for the author to overcome.

    She was fortunate to be taught by world-class professors. One even called her his “Pygmalion” because she was basically a blank slate. While she achieved academic renown, she never reached a high point of hope. Her mountain always loomed larger.

    “First find out what you are capable of, then decide who you are.”
    More than just a “coming of age” story, this is a “coming to be a new person” story. Highly recommend.

    Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for an ARC.

    1. WOW! I love this! PERFECT summation, so well written and said. Thank you for sharing- hope others see your comment to get a good idea about it!

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