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In the Time of the Butterflies

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Oriana Montoya

on 28 May 2015

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Transcript of In the Time of the Butterflies

Author Background Cont.
Government 1930-1961
Type of Government: Totalitarian
Rafael Trujillo ruled.
Abolished personal and political gain
Used torture and murder to ensure obedience.
1961-He was assassinated, and the government fell.
Religion 1930-1961
The official religion of Dominican Republic is Roman Catholic
The Roman Catholic Church has many accomplishments one can achieve throughout a lifetime such as the Holy Communion
95% of the Dominican Republic population is Roman Catholic
The other 5% of the population are Baptist, Protestant, Mormon, and Jewish
Author Background
born in New York of Dominican Descents
First 10 years of life in the Dominican
Father's political rebellion forced them to flee
Works are influenced by experiences as Dominican in US
Works examine cultural expectations of women
Common theme: Caught between two cultures
Author Background Cont.
Most significant Latina writer
Achieved success on international level
Symbols Cont.
Rain: Symbolizes a new beginning
Brings about change
Shows start of revolution
Rabbits: Symbolize over-protectiveness
Shows how people are trapped by the power of the government and how they want to escape their "cage"
In the Time of the Butterflies
Julia Alvarez
Miya Tatum
Hayden Plummer
Josie VanOss
Oriana Montoya

The Catholic way of life was an important factor in everyday life
The citizens of the Dominican Republic view the Roman Catholic clergy with ambivalence
People respect the advice of the local priest and bishop
Many friends and family attended the same church
Main Characters
Social Viewpoints
Married young
Took care of the house and the children
The death of the Mirabal sisters inspired a movement against Domestic Violence.

During Trujillo's rule, poverty still existed, however, the average Dominican's quality of life improved.
Economy expanded
Foreign debt decreased
Middle class grew
Cultural Background
Four sisters from oldest to youngest

Joined after she witnessed a young boy die in a fight
Married at 16 to Pedrito González
One stillborn and three children
Nelson, Noris, and Raul Ernesto
Trujillo's portrait: Symbolizes the power/control that he possesses over every aspect of the country
Represents his desire to own a god-like reputation
Symbols Cont.
Family is a major aspect of the culture
Families have many gatherings on different occasions to celebrate
Loyalty to family comes before any other social relationship, even business
Extended families live together or live within the same vicinity
Motifs Cont.
Sisterhood: Symbolizes the unbreakable bond between the four sisters
Shown in many different situations
They encourage one another to make the right choices and support each other through everything

Butterflies: Symbolize the beauty and freedom
They look weak on the outside but they possess power and courage
Connects with the characteristics of the sisters
Motifs Cont.
"The party is breaking up anyway... this rain is a perfect excuse" (Alvarez 101).
"Every time it thunders we jump as if guards had opened fire on the house" (Alvarez 102).
"It's raining here in Ojo de Agua, Eye of Water... every corner of [the island] is wet" (Alvarez 116-117).
"A rainy wedding is supposed to bring good luck" (Alvarez 134).
Women can leave impacts that last a lifetime.
The theme contributes to the meaning of the book because the sisters leave such an amazing impact for the Dominican citizens to follow after their death
The sisters leave behind a legacy of positive influences that will inspire many
The sisters and their impact help the citizens to fight the injustice and become a free country
Even to this day, there are many people who celebrate the sisters and their accomplishments that have impacted the country
Symbols Cont.
Themes Cont.
"[Dede] bends to her special beauty, the butterfly orchid" (Alvarez 5).
"Here in that little room was the same Patria Mercedes, who wouldn't have hurt a butterfly, shouting, 'Amen to the Revolution'" (Alvarez 164).
Main Characters
She was the first one to learn about the revolution, and how Trujillo wasn't who he had been portrayed as
Married to Manolo Tavárez
Two children: Minou and Manolito

Symbols Cont.
Sacrificing selfish desires influences people.
The Mirabal sisters sacrifice of their time, energy, and hearts to not only help the ones they love, but to also help the strangers who suffer from political injustice
Minerva constantly sacrifices herself in combat of injustice
The sisters are also willing to sacrifice their own lives to fight the injustice
Themes Cont.

Themes Cont.
"At home, Trujillo hung on the wall by the picture of Our Lord Jesus" (Alvarez 17).
"After Trujillo became the head of the army, he got to talking to some people who didn't like the old president...these people surrounded the palace and told the old president that he had to leave... Trujillo announced that he was president" (Alvarez 18).
"In the entry way hung the required portrait of El Jefe" (Alvarez 202).
Motifs Cont.
"Dede catches [Minerva's] eye, smiling [then] touches her glass and gives the slightest nod" (Alvarez 95).
"Captain Peña, head of the... SIM, had orders to bring Mate in... 'Take me instead, please,' Patria knelt by the door pleading with Captain Peña" (Alvarez 195).
"The butterflies were not about to give up! We had suffered a setback but we have not been beaten" (Alvarez 269).
Motifs Cont.
Courage- symbolized throughout the book when one of the sisters is going through a rough time wanting to give up
They overcome those struggles with courage
They stand up for what they believe in
Motifs Cont.
"The presence of Lio gave her the courage to go further with Jaimito than ever before... but without a plan Dede's courage unraveled like a row of stitches not finished with a good, sturdy knot" (Alvarez 76).
"Dede could not run away. Courage! It was the first time she had used that word to herself and understood exactly what it meant... Dede began devising a little exercise to distract her mind and fortify her spirit" (Alvarez 198).
"Tears came to my eyes. Something big and powerful spread its wings inside me... Courage, I told myself. And this time, I felt it" (Alvarez 238).
Symbols Cont

"Watching the rabbits in their pen... I'm no different than you... I opened [the] cage... but she wouldn't budge... you're nothing at all like me" (Alvarez 11).
"I feel like I'm buried alive. need to get out. I cannot go on with this travesty" (Alvarez 180).
Main Characters
Beglica (Dedé)-
The last one to join the revolution, even if it wasn't officially
Married Jaimito Fernández
Three children: Jamie Enrique. Jamie Rafae, and Jamie David

She raised all of her nieces and nephews, along with her children, after her sisters died.
Josie's Significant Quotes
Cultural Background
Main Characters
María Teresa (Mate)-
Joined the organization after she found guns that had been delivered to Minerva and Manolo
Married to Leandro Rodríguez
One child, Jacqueline, and one miscarriage
Dominicans go out of their way to make a guest feel welcome
Men and boys are expected to take care of their family and put honor and pride above everything
Women are expected to be submissive and stay home to take care of the children and housework
Girls are expected to help their mother clean around the house and maintain a healthy household
Main Characters
dictator of the time period
self-assured and egotistical

"I see a guardia, and I think, who have you killed... see what I mean? I see the picture of our president with eyes that follow me around the room, and I am thinking he is trying to catch me doing something wrong... I always thought our president was like God" (Alvarez 39).
"Something wistful and sisterly hung in the air... I could read a sister's heart even if it was hidden behind a practiced smile" (Alvarez 211).
"I will never forget the terror on Dede's face,how she reached for my hand... what she said was- I will never forget this- she said, 'My name is Minerva Mirabal'" (Alvarez 277).
"It's about time we women have a voice in running our country" (Alvarez 10).
"Even in church during the privacy of Holy Communion, Father Gabriel bent down and whispered
"¡Viva la mariposa!"
" (Alvarez 259).
"Or really not [her], but [her] sisters whose pictures hung on the wall behind [her]. Those photos had become icons, emblazoned on posters-already collectors' piece.
Bring back the butterflies!
" (Alvarez 310).
Oriana's Significant Quotes
"Voz de pueblo, voz de cielo" (Alvarez 199).
Dedé shakes her head. "Back in those days, we women followed our husbands" (Alvarez 171-72).
"As she was being marched down the hall, a voice from one of the cells they passed called out,
Mariposa does not belong to herself alone. She belongs to Quisqueya!
Then everyone was beating the bars, calling out
¡Viva la Mariposa!
Tears came to [her] eyes. Something big and powerful spread it's wings inside [her]. Courage, [she] told [herself]. And this time, [she] felt it" (Alvarez 238).
"[She] told Minerva and Manolo right out, [she] wanted to join" (Alvarez 142)
"She took both [her] hands in hers as if [they] were getting ready to jump together into a deep spot in the lagoon of Ojo de Agua. "Breathe slowly and deeply," she intoned, "slowly and deeply." [She] pictured [herself] on a hot day falling, slowly and deeply, into those cold layers of water. [She] held on tight to [her] sisters hands, no longer afraid of anything but that she might let go" (Alvarez 39).
"Rufino and Minerva were on gurneys, Patria and Mate on mats on the floors" (Alvarez 307).
Works Cited

"1526194_10152500495634606_1210311363_n." Imagenes
De Nuestra Historia. N.p., 23 Jan. 2014. Web. 20 May 2015.
"Bélgica Adela "Dedé" Mirabal-Reyes (dede4) on about.me"
About.me, N.p. N.d. Web. 18 May 2015"Bits of Culture - Dominican Republic."
Bits of Culture - Dominican
Republic. Massachusetts General Hospital, n.d. Web. 21 May 2015.
"Countries and Their Cultures." Culture of Dominican Republic. N.p.,
2000. Hispaniola, n.d. Web. 21 May 2015
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Etiquette." Dominican Republic. Kwintessential, n.d. Web. 21 May 2015.
"Dominican Republic RELIGION - Flags, Maps, Economy,
History, Climate, Natural Resources, Current Issues, International Agreements, Population, Social Statistics, Political System." Dominican Republic RELIGION - Flags, Maps, Economy, History, Climate, Natural Resources, Current Issues, International Agreements, Population, Social Statistics, Political System. N.p., 2004. Photius Coutsoukis, n.d. Web. 21 May 2015.

Miya's Significant Quote
"I have to admit the more time I spend with them, the less I care what they've done or where they come from. What matters is the quality of a person. What someone is inside themselves," (Alvarez 230).
"The butterflies, Lord God, how people romanticized other people's terror,"(Alvarez 199).
"That room was silent with the fury of avenging angels sharpening their radiance before they strike," (Alvarez 162).
Hayden's significant quotes
"We must keep quiet and not visit with each other, but think only of our immortal souls. I am so tired of mine" (Alvarez 37).
“The truth was the devil was the devil even in a halo. But I knew it was more complicated than that. He was both, angel and devil, like the rest of us” (Alvarez 219).
“Soon the downpour was upon us. The heavy rain hit the canvas top with the sound of slaps. I could barely hear Patria or Mate talking, much less Rufino and the young soldier up front” (Alvarez 287).
“It was reassuring to see the young soldier’s head nod in agreement-until he added, ‘God and Trujillo willing’” (Alvarez 286).

Works Cited
"Dominican Republic Religion by Hispaniola.com." Dominican
Republic Religion by Hispaniola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 May 2015.
"Dominican Republic Religion by Hispaniola.com." Dominican
Republic Religion by Hispaniola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 May 2015.
"Fifty Years Later Still the Time for Butterflies." Weblog post.
Do I Really Need a Title? N.p., 2011. Web. 15 May 2015.
"Figurative Language, Symbols, Imagery." Eng10Butterflies -.
N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2015.
Garcia, Franklin. "Last Surviving Mirabal Sister, Doña Dede,
Dead at 88." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 3 Feb. 2014. Web. 26 May 2015
"Minerva Mirabal and Trujillo." Interview. Weblog post.
Repeating Islands. N.p., 25 Aug. 2013. Web. 20 May 2015.
Simkin, John. "Spartacus Educational." Spartacus
Educational. N.p., Aug. 2014. Web. 18 May 2015.
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