Butterflies Gender Roles

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Another theme transmitted throughout the story, though not as prevalent as the evilness behind repressing human rights, is that giving up one’s own comfort, safety, and life for a cause one believes in is a selfless and admirable action. When Minerva began organizing a resistance, she was aware of the dangers that came with it. However, she sacrificed her personal happiness for the greater good. When Minerva began to become seriously involved in the resistance, she asked Patria to take care of her child even though it greatly pained her to do so. Patria responded by saying “‘But Minerva, your own child--’ I began and then I saw it did hurt her to make this sacrifice she was convinced she needed to make”(155). Here, it is evident that Minerva…show more content…
When all three sisters died--though their martyrdom was not intentional--they became symbols of what it means to stand up to oppression, giving hope to those left behind. Specifically, they showed the women of their time period that it is not only men who are the brave ones, prompting a large movement for women to escape from gender roles. Clearly, the importance of sacrifice is a prominent theme in Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies. Throughout the entire novel, one main conflict is emphasized. The Mirabal family continually struggles to live under and eventually throw off the Trujillo dictatorship while still maintaining a semblance of family. Initially, they are challenged to act as a family obedient to the regime when Trujillo first comes to power. For example, Minerva once slapped Trujillo when he made sexual advances on her despite the intense consequences it could bring. The…show more content…
By recounting numerous tragedies and their effect on people throughout the story, Alvarez emphasizes the wickedness behind suppressing one’s unassailable rights while also underlining the importance of sacrifice. The difficulties of the Mirabal family to live under the Trujillo rule and still resemble a family ultimately culminate in the deaths of Maria Teresa, Minerva, and Patria and the removal of Rafael Trujillo. Readers are more adept to connect and respect the story of the Mirabals due to Alvarez’s constant reverent tone. Though lacking the same valor as each sister, Julia Alvarez does carry the same sense of passion in herself and for human rights. In the Time of the Butterflies will be a novel remembered throughout the ages, just as Julia Alvarez had
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