Time of the Butterflies

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Time of the Butterflies

“Life is what you make out of it: one can go through it and let things pass them by, or a person can actually go out and get what he or she wants in that life.” These are common words repeatedly embedded into my head by my father, as maybe the same from one of your parent’s. In the Time of the Butterflies is a book about sisters that fight to take their god-given right of freedom in the Dominican Republic. To win this freedom, the Mirabal sisters had to give up their safety, give up their childhoods, and give up their lives. Julia Alvarez, the author of the book, takes the readers through these sisters journey’s of fighting against their dictator Trujillo, and the many hardships while under this political oppression. It is evident in the book that some sisters had to be the leaders of the group and some had to be the followers. The Mirabel sister that is believed to be the leader and the strong one is Minerva. Minerva, although strong-willed, is still not as strong of an individual as she would like to believe she is.
Minerva is the individual that always makes sure that she is perceived as strong; however, in actuality this strength and desired image is only a deception of herself. Many heroes, courageous leaders, and brave characters in stories never have health problems or other character flaws exploited. However, Minerva is shown in the book to always have problems with her health. She is always described as being sick, weak, and needing rest. Another down flaw of her character exploited in this book is that she gets captured and thrown in jail. Once in jail she breaks down – loosing control of herself and ultimately loosing her drive that she once had. These exploitations in the novel show that Minerva can be broken down and make Minerva a more average human being, rather than an audacious hero as everyone would like to believe.
“I was hurt that he hadn’t even said goodbye…Mama, of course, noticed the tightening in my face. My bad headaches and asthma attacks always worried her. “You need rest,” she prescribed one afternoon and sent me to bed in Papa’s room, the coolest in the house.”(Alvarez 87). As one can see here, Minerva is worn down and needs rest. One can also observe how her mama always has to worry about Minerva’s health.
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