Overview: The Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez Essay

Overview: The Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez Essay

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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. Manipulating her point of view and attitude, Julia Alvarez uses an impassioned style of writing to portray Minerva’s strong leadership and an explicit style of writing to portray Dedé’s willingness to compromise.
In 1938, Minerva’s father permitted her to go away to boarding school along with her two older sisters, Patria and Dedé. Alvarez’s writing on behalf of Minerva speaks volumes as to the point of view Minerva had growing up. “And that’s how I got free. I don’t mean just going to sleepaway school on a train with a trunkful of new things. I mean in my head after I got to Inmaculada and met Sinita and saw what happened to Lina and realized that I’d left a small cage to go into a bigger one, the size of our whole country,” (Alvarez 13). Minerva’s father, said that out of all his daughters, Minerva should have been born a boy. The other Mirabal sisters said that she was their father’s favorite daughter because Minerva acted the most like a son to him. She almost became the son he had always wanted, but never had. Due to her father’s influence, as Minerva grew up, she aspired to being a lawyer. Something which was unheard of for a woman in the ‘40s.
While Minerva set to change the social stereotypes surrounding women in he...


... middle of paper ...


... did not take part in the revolution, her own strength was tested when her sisters were killed by Trujillo, leaving her as the only sister remaining alive. In the Time of the Butterflies allows readers to experience the courage of ordinary people fighting against extraordinary circumstances. The sisters advocated for a change in the Dominican Republic, and without being exceptionally special or extraordinary, they affected the entire county for the better. Today, readers can still learn from this story due to Julia Alvarez’s detailed portrayal of the Mirabal sisters and their story.



Works Cited

Alvarez, Julia. In the time of the butterflies. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2010. Print.
Felty, Darren. “Overview of ‘In the Time of the Butterflies’.” Literature Resource Center. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Literature Resource Center. Web. 12 Sept. 2012.

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