In The Time of Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez Essay

In The Time of Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez Essay

Length: 3040 words (8.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Dominican Republic in the twentieth century can be summarized as brutal. The novel In The Time of Butterflies, written by Julia Alvarez was set during the time period 1938 to 1994. During part of that time dictator Rafael Trujillo ruled the island. Although this book is considered historical fiction, it tells the story of four Mirabal sisters: Dede, Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa. They called themselves “Las Mariposas”. The four Mirabal sisters exist in real life. In the book as well as in real life, the sisters are seen as a symbol of courage and strength to the people in the Dominican Republic. They were a part of an underground movement to overthrow Trujillo. The Mirabal sisters are famous for being political dissidents of Trujillo's dictatorship. Trujillo, known as El Jefe, or the boss led a terrible regime.
“The Dominican Republic had Rafael Trujillo, a capricious psychopath, who established perhaps the most effective authoritarian state ever seen in the western hemisphere – one usually defined as right-wing, though more accurately it had no ideology” (Tunzelmann 5).
He embarrassed many people by some of his rules. This is supported by German Ornes and what he wrote in his book Trujillo: Little Caesar of the Caribbean. He states that “Abasement is so thoroughly practiced that when Trujillo appears in public each citizen must remove his hat, place it over his heart, and bow his head” (Ornes, 4). Trujillo enjoyed humiliating others for his enjoyment. Some of his rules were crazy. For instance, “Heavy fines imposed on those who smoke while riding in a car... it is a punishable offense to wear khaki trousers and shirts of the
Rivera 2
same color and it is against the law to carry your coat over y...


... middle of paper ...


...nt.

Ornes, German E. Trujillo: Little Caesar of the Caribbean. New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1958. Print.

"Rafael Trujillo." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.

"Inquiry Questions." Wikispaces. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.

"Mirabal Sisters of The Dominican Republic." The REAL Dominican Republic Travel, Tours, Community, Business and Real Estate. N.p., n.d. Web.30 Dec.2013.

McCallum, Shara. "Reclaiming Julia Alvarez: In the Time of the Butterflies." Ebscohost.com. N.p., n.d. Web.

Soriano, Lorelie E. "In the Time of the Butterflies (Feminist Approach)." Prezi.com. N.p., 1 Mar. 2013. Web. 01 Jan. 2014.

Prodduturu, Aditya. "Imagery and Symbolism in In the Time of The Butterflies." Prezi.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2014.

Boni, Alexis. "English 10 Blog." Blogspot.com. N.p., 13 Nov. 2012. Web. 05 Jan. 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

In The Time of Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez Essay

- The Dominican Republic in the twentieth century can be summarized as brutal. The novel In The Time of Butterflies, written by Julia Alvarez was set during the time period 1938 to 1994. During part of that time dictator Rafael Trujillo ruled the island. Although this book is considered historical fiction, it tells the story of four Mirabal sisters: Dede, Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa. They called themselves “Las Mariposas”. The four Mirabal sisters exist in real life. In the book as well as in real life, the sisters are seen as a symbol of courage and strength to the people in the Dominican Republic....   [tags: In The Time of Butterflies Essays]

Better Essays
3040 words (8.7 pages)

The Time Of The Butterflies By Julia Alvarez Essay

- “The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom is courage.” In America, Americans are blessed to have the right to freedom. Unlike other unfortunate countries, their freedom is limited. In many Latin American countries, the government’s leader has all power of the Country. Citizens have no rights to freedom, they are trapped in a cruel country where innocent people are killed each day. Civilians fear to speak out to the regime of leader; However, there were a few courageous citizens enough to speak out against the government....   [tags: Dominican Republic, Rafael Trujillo]

Better Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)

In The Time of The Butterflies by Julia Alvarez Essay

- Defiance in the name of freedom against the political clutch of a powerful dictator can bring about the consequence of inhumane punishment and loss, however, by preserving and telling the story of a great loss, one honors the memory of sacrifice and can find closure, making the cause worth the fight. The legitimacy of this statement is evidently valid when paired up behind the sacrifice of the three Mirabal sisters in the book by Julia Alvarez: In The Time of The Butterflies. Is any life worth living trapped in fear of harm or even death....   [tags: Freedom, Literary Analysis]

Better Essays
1155 words (3.3 pages)

The Time Of The Butterflies By Julia Alvarez Essays

- Fear is 99% of the reason why social change never occurs. In In the time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, the Dominican people are oppressed by the dictator at the time, Trujillo, and never do anything about it. Perhaps some are too naive to understand what is going on. Perhaps it is the police state or the regime as a fear factor. Perhaps they support the regime because their lives depend on it. Either way, people lacked the urge to fight the monolithic power of Trujillo. The Mirabal Sisters present an opportunity and a model for others due to their solidarity and fierce nationalistic feelings towards the dictatorship....   [tags: Dominican Republic, Mirabal sisters]

Better Essays
937 words (2.7 pages)

The Time Of The Butterflies By Julia Alvarez Essay

- Can you imagine a world where women do not have a say and only men are in charge. Well the book “In the Time of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez teaches us that women are capable of more than just cleaning and cooking. Also, that women can be braver than many men. The story of four sisters, Minerva, Patria, Maria Teresa, and Dede shows that in a world where men are considered more dominant, women can become great leaders and free an entire country. The theme of women and feminism, including the significance of gender roles in the 1940’s to the 1960’s compared to today’s society has not changed enough where women are treated equally to men because the role of a woman in the 1940’s to 1960’s...   [tags: Gender role, Woman, Marriage, Gender]

Better Essays
1706 words (4.9 pages)

Overview: The Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez Essay

- In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez, takes place in the Dominican Republic during Trujillo’s control of the country. Dedé and Minerva are two extremely different Mirabal sisters, shown by how they respond to Trujillo taking over their country. Dedé and Minerva are only two of the sisters. There are four in total: Minerva, Dedé, Patria and María Teresa. The four sisters take turns throughout In the Time of the Butterflies telling their stories from the 1940s while living in the Dominican Republic....   [tags: trujillo, dede, minerva, mirabal sisters]

Better Essays
1140 words (3.3 pages)

The Significance of Gender Roles in Julia Alvarez's Novel In the Time of the Butterflies

- Out from the kitchen and into the world, women are making a better name for themselves. Although humankind tends to be male dominated, men are not the only species that inhabit the world that they live on. In Julia Alvarez's novel In the Time of the Butterflies, the women of the Dominican Republic are expected to grow up to be housewives and lacking a formal education. Women may be cherished like national treasures, but they are not expected to fulfill their truest potentials as human beings. Like most things in the world, they have their place....   [tags: In the Time of the Butterflies]

Better Essays
774 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Julia Alvarez's In the Time of the Butterflies

- In the Time of the Butterflies Humans have always prized peace, however it always finds itself in a war. War historically has always been all about men, Women have learned to matters into their hands and be strong enough to stand up for themselves too. Without war, how else can people take reprisals against injustices. Is armed revolution necessary. Is it more imperative to be correct than to be happy. Is it our obligation to defy evil and atrocities therein. The three sisters oppose Trujillo’s regime and have various severe consequences....   [tags: historic and character analysis]

Better Essays
1123 words (3.2 pages)

Caterpillars to Butterflies: A Metamorphosis Essay

- From the secretive government agent who foils the plans of dastardly supervillains to the Prince Charming who saves Disney princesses, courage invokes many spectacular images in people’s minds. Yet courage appears in subtler forms as well – the resident nerd awkwardly asking a crush to Prom, the belittled girl holding her head up high amidst gossip, or the concerned citizen stopping to fix a broken-down vehicle on the roadside. As a past resident of the Dominican Republic during Trujillo’s regime, Julia Alvarez understands these differing types of courage, and this knowledge permeates through the pages of her book, In the Time of the Butterflies....   [tags: Julia Alvarez, Time of the Butterflies]

Better Essays
903 words (2.6 pages)

Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones and Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of Butterflies

- Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones and Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of Butterflies We have all heard the saying, “it’s a man’s world”. It appears that our world is governed according to a man’s perspective and thoughts as to how the world should be run, and women gracefully bow down to this perspective and internalize those male supremacist notions of patriarchal dominance. Even with this seemingly innate belief that men have, it is still apparent at times that there is another view that is often glossed over and ignored in the pursuit of extreme power and superiority....   [tags: Danticat Bones Alvarez Butterflies Essays]

Better Essays
951 words (2.7 pages)