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In The Time Of The Butterflies

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Hayley Andrew

on 22 October 2012

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Transcript of In The Time Of The Butterflies

Julia Alvarez In The Time Of The Butterflies Plot Summary Parts I, II, and III Plot Points Main Idea Criticisms part I : 1938 to 1946 Themes Characters The book begins with Dede begin interviewed in the year 1994.
Dede tells the interviewer about her life and goes back in her memories to 1943.
She talks about the anacahuita tree where she and her family used to sit under and talk. This was their sanctuary a memory of when they were all together and things were good.
Dede shares all of her life and the life of all the Mirabal sisters and what happened during Trujillo's reign. Minerva graduates from Inmaculada Concepcion.Patria has a miscarriage and loses her third son.At the end of Part one it is 1946, Patria is 22 years old and married to Pedrito Gonzales. She gave up her dream of becoming a nun to have a family.Patria worrys about Minerva and starts to lose hope.Chea Mirabal takes all her daughters to Higuey, where she discovers that her husband has had an affair. Two of the girls Patria and Minerva are sent to Inmaculada Concepcion, a boarding school in 1938. In school Minerva meets Sinita Perozo, her how Trujillo is destroying families and killing her loved ones. her family—killing her uncles, her father, and her brother. Minerva and her friends have to do a performance for Trujillo at the centennial celebration.During the performance, Sinita shows their hatred for Trujillo and takes aim at him. Minerva sends her first communion diarys to Maria Teresa. Patria is now married with two children, Noris and Nelson and she is pregnant with her third. Maria Teresa is sent to Inmaculada Concepcion she covers for Minerva one day when she was sneaking out of school with friends. Part II: In part two it starts back in 1994, Dede tells the reporter many things like how Fela, their longtime servant thinks she is possesed by her dead sisters spirit. They talk about life and other things then start with interview questions again.
They talk about Lio Morales, and Minerva's love for him.
Lio was reported in a newspaper as "a communist, a subversive." Mama was very upset about this, because of his relationship with her daughter.
Minerva continues to date Lio, as Jaimito and Dede continue to see each other.
Jaimito proposes to Dede and Lio gives her a letter for Minerva, asking her to go into exile with him. Dede does not want harm for her sister so she burns the letter. Maria Teresa helps Minerva move to Monte Cristi. Where they accidentally get involved with a delivery of guns from Leandro, codename Palomino. Manolo and Minerva discuss the national underground. Maria Teresa joins them and falls in love with Leandro.They get married on Valentine's Day, 1958.Iater in part II, it is back to 1959 and Patria's children, Nelson and Noris are adults. Minerva and Manolo come every week to meet with Patria and Pedrito's with many other revolutionaries. Nelson gets involved, He shares that the revolutionaries are expecting an invasion by the liberators from Cuba.Patria is having a child with Raul Ernesto, and they go on a retreat with Padre de Jesus and the Salcedo group to Constanza. The mountainside is bombed on the fourteenth of June. Minerva graduates from Inmaculada Concepcion and moves home. where she runs into the woman with her father has been having an affair with. And also that she has four half-sisters by them. The family is invited to a Discovery Day dance at Trujillo's palace.Minerva gets caught in a bad situation when Trujillo inappropriately pulls her close and offends her, she slaps the dictator in the face.Enrique is taken to the capital for questioning. Minerva and Chea go to the capital for Papa's release.Minerva made a bet with the dictator, in winning the bet she is allowed to study law which is one of her dreams.Enrique Mirabal has passed away. On July 3, Maria Teresa graduates from Inmaculada Concepcion. Then she attends the University in the capital with Minerva. Minerva marries Manolo in 1955 Minerva has her first child Minou, and in 1957 they move to Monte Cristi.Trujillo tricked Minerva and does not allow her to get her diploma and practice law. Part III: Part III begins in 1994 as well, Dede is ending the interview as Minou arrives back from Fela's.
Then it goes back to 1960, Dede's sisters come to ask her to join their revolutionary group and Dede leaves Jaimito.
The next week, Leandro, Pedrito, and Nelson are arrested, and Patria's house gets burned down.
Minerva has tuberculosis, but she and Manolo are also arrested before she can get help for it.
Then Maria Teresa gets arrested too. Minerva loses the house she had with Manolo.While they are on the way to visit their husbands, Captain Pena tells them that Manolo and Leandro are being transferred to Puerto Plata, a prison closer to where the sisters live.On the way to visit Puerto Plata The sisters stop at a store called El Gallo to buy sewing supplies. The salesclerk recognizes them and gives Minerva a written warning to "Avoid the pass."They get there and visit Leandro and Manolo, who asks Minerva not to drive back that night. After they are not able to get in touch with their mother they head home. The Catholic Church speaks out against Trujillo's regime, and the regime fights back by finding ways to keep people from going to church.In jail at La Victoria, Maria Teresa writes in a smuggled notebook from Carmen's cousin Santiclo, who is one of the guards at La Victoria. Maria Teresa is taken to La 40 and whipped.Maria Teresa and Minerva are sentenced to five years in prison.On August 7, Maria Teresa reports that she and Minerva will be released the next day along with the other female political prisoners.Minerva and Maria Teresa are released but are placed under house arrest. To make money they start specialty business of making children's gowns. Works Cited : Pictures and Sounds : Criticisms: Media : Classic? Likes and dislikes In the Time of the Butterflies is a choppy "personal account" novel about the Mirabal family that is broken into three sections. All the sections start with Dede discussing her life with an interviewer. The narrators are the four Mirabal sisters (aka the butterflies), Dede, Minerva, Maria Teresa, and Patria. Dede’s chapters have two parts beginning in 1994 talking about her life now. And the past, starting in 1943 when her sisters were alive and her family was together. The novel is an look into Dede's life through the interview, what she and her sisters struggled through living in the Dominican Republic at that time and what life was like. It is broken into diary entries, Dede's personal notes, ideas and memories. Also the interviewer's notes and perspectives of not just Dede but her sisters too. Occasionally coming back to the present day where she is being interviewed Dede discusses how things are now. "Alvarez's controlled writing perfectly captures the mounting tension as "the butterflies" near their horrific end. The novel begins with the recollections of Dede, the fourth and surviving sister, who fears abandoning her routines and her husband to join the movement. Alvarez also offers the perspectives of the other sisters: brave and outspoken Minerva, the family's political ringleader; pious Patria, who forsakes her faith to join her sisters after witnessing the atrocities of the tyranny; and the baby sister, sensitive Maria Teresa, who, in a series of diaries, chronicles her allegiance to Minerva and the physical and spiritual anguish of prison life." Good Reads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11206.In_the_Time_of_the_Butterflies


http://www.academon.com/book-review/in-the-time-of-the-butterflies-98923/#excerpt "The rest is history and story. As Alvarez tells it, Dede remains to mourn and to endure the public memorializing while trying to get on with her life. At times she counts the losses, and wonders if she should mourn: "We went our own ways, we became ourselves. Just that. And maybe that is what it means to be a free people, and I should be glad?" Still, at other times, Dede's character looks at her country's prosperity and distant sense of the troubled past, and asks, "Was it for this, the sacrifice of the butterflies?"
"Both history and story invite such questions, but too quickly history grows distant, prompting another generation, or another culture, to forget events that shaped and claimed lives. Julia Alvarez has written a work of fiction that is immediate and searching. In the postscript, the author asserts, "A novel is, after all, not a historical document, but a way to travel through the human heart." In the Time of the Butterflies is such a journey, demanding and courageous in the way of those sisters whose travel inspired its telling. Fortunately, the novel arrives." Victoria Carlson Sacrifice A major theme of this book is sacrifice. Sacrificing oneself for good, for others, and for one’s country.
Throughout the entire novel the Mirabal sisters sacrifice their time, energy, and hearts to help not only the ones they love, but other people who are suffering from political injustice and violence.
Minerva, who becomes a political icon and a hero because of her voice, consistently sacrifices herself in her fight for justice. Her sisters follow her lead in sacrificing their love, wants and interests for what is right. Gender Gender issues are found throughout the novel, the main characters are mostly women. They are courageous women who during the mid 1900's did not commonly speak out or take any action in political matters. Especially in an Authoritarian reign.
Minerva many times rebels against the authority of Trujillo.
The father of the Mirabal girls loves his daughters, but often references to wishing he had sons because they were the preferred gender.
The novel reflects many feminist ideas that show the importance of women and how they were treated by men.
Maria even continually includes in her journal how she hates men.
The girls are strong, but still extremely loyal and loving of the men in their lives. They are fair and show the important value of gender equality. Identity Identity is a strong theme in the novel, each Mirabal sisters’ personality and values are shown in the book. There is an obvious struggle in each sister as she must determine who she is, what side she is on, and what she will stand for. Detailed conflicts are shown as each sister grows and learns about the people around her. Each sister succeeds in finding a strong and accomplishing individuality through the help and encouragement of each other. They all support and defend one another, helping each other to find out who they are and what they wish to become. Each sister has a very defined individual personality, they are all very different but connected by blood. "The main functions of the church in human life are those of kerygma or witness, litourgia or worship and diakonia or service. All of these three functions indicate the roles that the Catholic Church should play in the life of man, namely to witness the religion of Jesus Christ and to perpetuate it, to worship God as the sole divinity and to do service to men, that is to protect and support them at any time. In Alvarez' novel, the Church fails at the beginning in its main functions, as it becomes involved in the political game of power. When the Catholic Church backs the regime of Trujillo, it forgets the essential duties to God and man: it no longer acts as a witness to God when it comes to obey a single man, the dictator." AcaDemon Dede Dede Mirabal- the second oldest of the Mirabal sisters, and the only one to survive the Trujillo regime. She was married to Jaimito, but they later divorced in 1984. She has three sons Enrique, Rafael, and David. She is the main character and one of the main sisters in the story. María Minerva Mirabal- the third Mirabal sister, and the most involved in the revolution. She was a very outspoken and politically strong woman who stood for what she believed in. She and Manolo Tavarez had two children Minou and Manolito. She and Maria Teresa were very close and very involved in the revolution against the regime. Minerva Antonia María Teresa Mirabal- Also known as "Mate." She was the youngest of the Mirabal sisters. Her sections of In the Time of the Butterflies are narrated as diary entries. She married Leandro Guzman. She was rebellious and couragous and very close to Minerva. Maria Teresa Patria Patria Mercedes Mirabal- The oldest of the Mirabal sisters. Patria was the most religious of the sisters, always praying and caring for the others. She married Pedrito Gonzales at the age of 16. Instead of going with her dreams of becoming a nun. She had two children, and miscarried her third. She was always helpful and kind to her sisters and their families, helping in any way she could. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina- the dictator of the Dominican Republic from 1930 until his assassination in 1961. As described by Sinita to Minerva, "Trujillo became president in a sneaky way. First, he was in the army, and all the people who were above him kept disappearing until he was the one right below the head of the whole armed forces." His forceful nature is shown through the novel in his rude actions towards Minerva and others in the book. Trujillo Chea Mirabal- The mother of the Mirabal sisters, who defends her daughters with love. She often insists that wherever they or their husbands go, she is going, too. She is unable to read or write, though Maria Teresa teaches as much as she can. Chea is a kind and loving woman who knows the value of family, even when she discovers he husbands affairs she remains a loving and loyal wife. She dies twenty years after her three daughters. Chea Mirabal Enrique Mirabal- The father of Patria, Dede, Minerva, and Maria Teresa. He drinks often and has an affair with Carmen, a woman on the Mirabal family property. With her he has four "secret" children. He is an example of the unfit male figure of that time, and shows the gender inequality of that time. Enrique Mirabal The Interviewer This "gringa" woman interviews Dede in 1994, asking her questions to get a perspective into her past. And to get her to remember the events that led up to her sisters' deaths. She is described as "such a thin woman with fly-about hair in her face." This novel is a classic because it shows a very real side of history, what life was truly like in the Dominican Republic at that time. This novel is a classic because of its raw qualities, it shows every emotion from many members of a family. It gives feelings, thoughts and ideas from many views rather than just one. This novel will remain a classic because of it's true historical background and its emotion. It captures it's reader as you continue into the lives of the sisters and their families. That is the type of novel that will always be popular, teach it's readers and be a classic. I liked that the novel includes multiple narrators, although it seems jumpy at times having the different views and characters narrating kept thing interesting. It also created a sense of informality which makes a story more interesting, especially with the diary entries and other forms or writing in the book. I was a little thrown off by the spanish throughout the book, at times I did not understand some of the phrases or things in the text.
However it added an extra touch of originality and made reading the book more interesting.
Nothing was ordinary, the book had its own personality much like the characters within it. I did not like how the novel was slow at times, reading is not my favorite activity so a book with less action or mystery will not keep me as intrigued. The book was good, but not as entertaining as some I have read. However it is a more historical and meaningful story rather than a "twilight type novel." http://www.juliaalvarez.com/img/in-the-time-of-the-butterflies.jpg


The butterfly holds everything of value to the sisters in the novel, Las Mariposas as they were called. The anacahuita tree, to the Mirabal family, it is a symbol of peace. It represents a time when they were all together and were a family, as young children the Mirabal sisters saw this as their serene place. http://www.google.com/imgres?q=trujillo&um=1&hl=en&safe=off&client=safari&sa=N&rls=en&biw=1216&bih=646&tbm=isch&tbnid=NAU1nkwH8Q-9kM:&imgrefurl Trujillo was the Dictator of The Dominican Republic, in the story his hurtful and controlling ways are shown. The novel In The Time of The Butterflies was soon made into a movie. This is the trailer of the 2001 film portrayal of the novel.
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