What Are The Martyrs In Julia Alvarez's In The Time Of The Butterflies

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According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a martyr is a “person who sacrifices something of great value and especially life itself for the sake of principle” and in Julia Alvarez’s novel In the Time of the Butterflies, no one encompasess this more than the book’s four protagonists—Dedé, Minerva, María Teresa, and Patria—the Mirabal sisters. Known as Las Mariposas, the Butterflies, these women suffered for the right to pursue freedom in a revolution against the Dominican Republic's oppressive dictator Rafael Trujillo. In their revolutionary efforts, these remarkable sisters have become icons in the public eye of the DR, and have been heralded as great leaders for their bravery and hope despite enduring such tortures as imprisonment and bombings.…show more content…
The Mirabal’s father had been engaged in a risky love affair with another woman, and Margarita is one of the daughters of the family formed by the secret couple. After receiving valuable information regarding three of the imprisoned Mirabal sisters from her mother’s cousin, Margarita transferred the news—on the label from a can of tomato paste—to an anxious Patria who was relieved to hear that her sisters were alright. Margarita, of her own accord, made the great risk to smuggle the priceless note to Patria. If she had been caught, death may have ensued for the poor woman, and the incarcerated siblings might have been killed as well. The great courage Margarita displayed is an act worthy of lavish praise, yet none was given.
Rufino is someone else deserving of attention for his actions. He was the sister’s trusted driver, claiming that “‘Doña Dedé, you think i’ll let anything happen to the butterflies? They’ll have to kill me first’” (pg. 269). He was willing to chaperone the most highly wanted people in the country, a risk that, in the end, cost him his life. He was under no obligation to drive the sisters, and yet he did so anyways. The courage he showed was tremendous, and his brave risk should have been

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