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Character Analysis: Minerva
Transcript of Character Analysis: Minerva
What would Minerva do?
In this activity, you will be given a series of situations. Pretend you are Minerva and respond based on what you think Minerva would do in the given situation. The person who is able to quickly and accurately respond to the situations will be rewarded.
Minerva Mirabal, in the the book
In the Time of the Butterflies
by Julia Alvarez, is the most courageous and determined of the Mirabals, and her perseverance helps overthrow the Trujillo regime and establish a better government.
“It’s about time we women had a voice in running our country.”
“You and Trujillo,” Papá says a little loudly, and in this clear peaceful night they all fall silent. Suddenly, the dark fills with spies who are paid to hear things and report them down at Security. Don Enrique claims Trujillo needs help in running this country. Don Enrique’s daughter says it’s about time women took over the government. Words repeated, distorted, words recreated by those who might bear them a grudge, words stitched to words until they are the winding sheet the family will be buried in when their bodies are found dumped in a ditch, their tongues cut off for speaking too much.(Alvarez, Chapter 1)
" I can see my hand in an endless slow motion rise-a mind all its own-and come down on the astonished, made-up face" (Alvarez, 100).
In conclusion the quotes illustrate the bravery and determination of Minerva which empowers her to lead a rebellion and eventually overthrow Trujillo. Minerva is the bravest and most outspoken sister out of the Mirabals and is not afraid to call out the government and Trujillo for their wrongdoings and oppression. She symbolizes the spirit of the rebellion and the brave part of everyone.
1. What sets Minerva apart from her sisters? What is it about her that makes her the most eager to join a revolution against Trujillo?
2. Is Minerva's impulsive personality beneficial to the revolution, or should she learn to think before she speaks or acts?
3. How does the rabbit in the cage compare to the people of the Dominican Republic?
4. Is the revolution more based upon women's rights or the rights of everyone in the society?
5. What are some real life examples of people like Minerva who stood up for what they believed was right and/or tried to overthrow a dictator?
María Argentina Minerva Mirabal is essential to the novel as she is the third Mirabal sister and the one most wrapped up in the revolution. She is strong willed as well as persistent, and open about voicing her opinions, allowing her to be the first to advocate for going off to college and the first to get a college degree in law. Minerva is very outspoken and mischievous. Throughout the novel, Minerva transforms as a person. She is born into a Trujillo supporting family but emerges into a changed woman who despises everything about Trujillo. She stands up for whatever she believes in and is eventually faced with death.
"Sometimes, watching the rabbits in their pens, I’d think, I’m no different from you, poor things. One time, I opened a cage to set a half-grown doe free. I even gave her a slap to get her going. But she wouldn’t budge! She was used to her little pen. I kept slapping her, harder each time, until she started whimpering like a scared child. I was the one hurting her, insisting she be free. Silly bunny, I thought. You’re nothing at all like me." (Alvarez, pg. 37)
Minerva saw the rabbit in the cage and didn't like that it was restricted for its entire life. She opened the cage so the rabbit could leave the cage and be free forever. But the rabbit didn't want to leave the cage, because it was used to the cage and actually liked the cage.
At the end, Minerva reflects and says "you're nothing at all like me," implying that if she was offered freedom, she would take it in a heartbeat. The rabbit in the cage can be compared to most of the people of the Dominican Republic; they are living in a cage controlled by Trujillo, and they don't have freedom or any rights. The people are satisfied living in a cage, and have no desire to get out and be free.
But Minerva wants freedom, even if it means she will die, so she will do anything to gain liberty. Minerva's burning desire for freedom is what compulses her to join to underground movement and get rid of Trujillo.
She does end up joining the underground, and she succeeds, even though she dies trying. Minerva realized she had always been living under the rules of someone else, and never really had her own freedom.
There were three major events that made Minerva join the revolutionary movement.
Sinita told Minerva about how Trujillo had killed her brother, father, and uncles.
Later, when Minerva and Sinita were performing for Trujillo, Sinita pointed a bow at him, and his son intervened, and Minerva saw how bad Trujillo and his son were.
Finally, at the Discovery Day Dance, Trujillo tried to seduce her so she could be his girlfriend.
All these events started to trigger feeling of hate in Minerva. Minerva was motivated and had an impulse to join the revolution because of all her previous feelings towards Trujillo.
This quote depicts Minerva in her earlier years and the inception of the ideas that carried her to join and ultimately run the revolution. In the beginning of the quote she says that it's been long overdue for women to be able to vote or anyone for that matter in the machinations of the country and not just Trujillo who up to that point had been the only one basically making decisions for an entire country. Immediately after this you see the amount of resistance to Minerva's ideals with Papa immediately replying with a sarcastic comment, and after that you can see the author illustrating how they are trapped even within their house because they can't say what they want to since there are spies outside.
Once Minerva finds out what kind of person Trujillo is, she grows to abhor him.
She hates everything he does and is ashamed and regretful that her family worshiped such as man.
In this quote Minerva displays her impulsive nature and independence by slapping El Jefe. She is not afraid to act out against injustice despite the consequences.
Minerva is uniquely successful at getting her way through her skilled use of logic, she rebuffs the president’s advances at the ball and, when they become flagrant on the palace dance floor, she slaps his face with all her might.
By doing this she gains his respect but engenders his smoldering animosity.