This study guide will help you analyze an excerpt from Glennon Doyle’s memoir Untamed, which was used for a written exam in English STX B on the 25th of May 2023. In addition to help for your analysis, you can find a summary of the text and ideas for discussing it. 

If you need help with Assignments 1-4 from the STX B exam on the 25th of May 2023, you can read our guide here.

Presentation of the text

Title: Untamed (2020)

Sender: Glennon Doyle

Genre: Memoir 

Glennon Doyle (b. 1976) is an American author, activist, and speaker known for her bestselling memoirs. Doyle started writing about her life as a progressive Christian mother on her blog Momastary. She then published her first memoir  Carry On, Warrior, in 2013 and the follow-up memoir, Love Warrior, three years later. Love Warrior became a bestseller and was chosen for Oprah Winfrey’s book club. 

Doyle’s third memoir Untamed details her experience with finding the courage to live an authentic life in spite of societal norms. This includes her decision to leave her marriage and embark on a new relationship with soccer player Abby Wambach, whom she eventually married. Untamed was a New York Times bestseller and is in the process of being adapted into a TV series.


Doyle poses a series of rhetorical questions when she discusses how she began to question whether the life she was living aligned with her authentic desires or whether it was just a reflection of the societal expectations she had forced herself to conform to. For example, her mother’s statement that Doyle had not seemed as happy as when her wife came into her life since she was ten years old prompted Doyle to ask herself: “Where did my spark go at ten? How had I lost myself?” (l. 88). This starts Doyle’s journey of self-reflection. Moreover, it suggests that the transition into adulthood often involves conforming to societal expectations and losing touch with one's true self. It also invites the receivers to join in her reflections, and perhaps wonder if they have experienced something similar in their own lives. 

Doyle shares other similar questions she asked herself on her journey: “How much of this was my idea? Do I truly want any of this, or is this what I was conditioned to want? […] Who was I before I became who the world told me to be?” (l. 113-118). Though Doyle is not directly addressing readers, these questions once again challenge them to examine their own beliefs, choices, and desires, and to consider whether they are authentic or shaped by external influences. It also encourages them to consider the possibility of reclaiming their true, authentic selves.

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