(I wrote about the book Educated. This could be a spoiler)
Yesterday, I finished reading a book titled Educated. It’s a memoir of a woman who was born and raised in a religious family. In her upbringing, especially her father cast strong influence on the formation of her sense of value and world view. He believed most modern public institutions such as a government, school or hospitals are all evil, and he was loyal to his own faith and creeds and imposed them on his family. The children didn’t even have birth certificates. They were forced to work for the junkyard the father ran since very little and all the time got injuries, sometimes very serious accidents, while working there. And the father would preach the family, saying everything he told them was god’s will. The mother was just docile by her husband.
In conformity to the father’s creed, the children in the family were homeschooled by the mother. The main character of the book didn’t go to school either. However, because of a series of unfoldment of unexpected events, she got interested in going to college and eventually advanced to PhD in a privileged university.
After having learned different histories and worldview through school education, new knowledge that she hadn’t the opportunity to learn under the domination of her father, she began to see contradictions between her family’s creeds and her own feelings and thoughts. On top of all that, since her childhood, there had been a series of ugly events over favoritism of her parents towards one of her brothers. She eventually chose to diverge from her family.
While reading, I pondered about this desire of the father to control or dominate other’s thoughts in the name of something else. This could be observed in someone who tries to claim his or her righteousness against others. In the father’s mind, he was always the only person just in the family like a prophet of god’s word. When someone tried to object, he raged and coerced that person into submission by preaching. To some extent, I experienced this in my family too although it was in a much milder way. I’m not sure what it exactly is, but this desire might be something fundamental in human nature like it’s a part of survival instinct.