Throughout history, women have made a name for themselves. By rising up and fighting for something that they believed in, the Mirabal sisters made a name for themselves in the Dominican Republic and in Julia Alvarez’s novel In the Time of the Butterflies. By applying a theory to a novel, readers can relate the book to the world they are living in today (Davidson). Feminism can be defined as a dynamic philosophy and social movement that advocates for human rights and gender equality (“Feminism”). Feminist Theory involves looking at how women in novels are portrayed, how female characters are reinforcing stereotypes or undermining them, and the challenges that female characters face (Davidson). Feminist Theory can be applied to In the Time of …show more content…
The female characters are portrayed as independent, strong willed women that are full of determination to fulfill their dreams, who also defy stereotypes. Minerva is portrayed as a strong woman when she fulfills her dream of getting a form of higher education, which also goes against social norms in the Dominican Republic. She says, “I want to go to the university[...]I’ve always wanted to study law” (Alvarez 98). By attending the university, Minerva is completing her dream and going against female stereotypes. Another example of women being strong willed in the novel is when the Mirabal sisters fight and die for a cause they believed in. Dedé says, “They killed them good and dead[...]they put the dead girls in the back of the Jeep, Rufino in the front” (Alvarez 303). By becoming martyrs for the Dominican Republic Revolution, the Mirabal sisters show how strong they truly were by fighting for a cause that they believed in. They defeated social norms by becoming independent fighters for a cause they believed in instead of being shy and staying in the house. Bettie K. Johnson Mbayo, an African American newspaper journalist, wrote an article about a woman in Liberia who is breaking gender barriers. Christine Tokpa was tired of sitting at home and taking care of the children so she decided to become a mechanic in Liberia. In Liberia, “the mechanic field is dominantly a male job” (“Women Breaking Barriers”). Christine, just like the female characters in the novel, overcame gender barriers and stereotypes and became a strong and independent woman who fought for what she
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In the novel “In the Times of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez, the 4 Mirable sisters tell their stories about how they will destroy Rafael Trujillo. The two sisters that standout the most are Minerva and Mate, which is also known as Maria Teresa. Minerva, thro first person narration and Mate, throw her journal entries are developed to show they are unique personalities, both their feelings and, and how they develop. All 4 sisters fight for theyre rights and against Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic.
It was highly expected for the women to obey either their husbands or father’s decisions. At that point in time women weren 't as well respected, men were always the most dominant. Julia Alvarez could portray that otherwise by the four sisters showing women 's self-worth and righteousness. Minerva was unhesitant about women 's right she was first to join against Trujillo. Each sister had strong characteristics to show their willingness to not give up on a better life for them and their children.
In society many find that males hold dominance and make all of the major choices. This is just a stereotype that many people seem to believe. There are many stereotypes for a variety of concepts but that does not mean they are true. There are few females that stand up against sexist stereotypes, but for the few people who have spoken out against them literature has been an effective way of getting their message out. Feminism has impacted literature in several ways; it allows people to share their messages about stereotypes.
Julia Alvarez's historical novel, In The Time of the Butterflies, captures the lives of the Mirabal sisters and the Dominican Republic under the appalling dictatorship of Trujillo. Unfortunately, in a dangerous scheme to overthrow Trujillo, the Mirabal sisters meet their tragic fate. Before their death, these martyrs dodged through dozens of obstacles. In the Dominican Republic, it was extremely difficult for women to be respected and taken seriously because they were seen as domesticated and inferior. This old ideology of gender roles gravely affected the Mirabal sisters and their participation in their revolution against Trujillo; however, they still managed to challenge these gender limitations throughout the book.
In the novel In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez uses Minerva and Dede to discuss gender roles because both the characters of Minerva and Dede respond to gender roles in completely different ways. To begin, once the challenges of Trujillo become more intense, Dede finds herself unable to handle it, “She shuts her eyes tight and wished blindly that everything would turn out all right” (pg. 78). This statement is important because it illustrates the gender roles women should take on throughout the novel. Specifically, this quotation shows how Dede hopes for her husband find a solution to the issue at hand, as she closes her eyes instead of facing the problem. Alvarez uses Dede to exemplify the characteristics a woman should acquire,
In the Dominican Republic, women were expected to go by what their husbands and fathers said. Women portrayed to have less power and authority than men. In “In the Time of the Butterflies”, the Mirabal sisters showed something very differently, instead they demonstrated the equal authority they have with their husbands. Their power challenged gender limitations that were forced on them by their patriarchal Dominican culture. Minerva, Patria, and Maria Teresa all were sisters who became involved in political movements against President Trujillo.
In The Time Of Butterflies was written by Julia Alvarez. Julia Alvarez is a Dominican-American poet, novelist, and essayist. She wrote In the time of Butterflies in 1994. The book divided into four sections, which make the sisters to have their own sections. The story took place in Dominican Republic during President Trujillo’s dictatorship government.
Women’s struggle for power in a patriarchal society has been a monumental fight throughout the ages, and even now women around the world fight for the right to simple rights like an education, and voice within society. In Julia Alvarez's book In the Time of the Butterflies the character Minerva Mirabel portrays women’s fight for power through her own personal struggle for power in her home against her father, and in the Dominican Republic society against Trujillo, and patriarchal norms of the time. Minerva’s struggle for power in her family is displayed through her thoughts and actions concerning her father’s patriarchal rule of his household, and her going against what was assumed to be the way a daughter was supposed to behave. She doesn’t follow her father blindly, and trust him simply because of his authority, she treats him as someone equal to her.
The first wave of feminism has been a revolutionary social movement in terms of that it could lead to an overcoming of the previous social order (Newman, 2012 p. 487) through its social agents and create, through this, a new social ordering of time and space. Moreover, through reaching their previously described aims, the first wave of feminism has been able to literally “overthrow the entire system itself, (…) in order to replace it with another one.” (Skocpol, 1979, as cited in Newman 2012, p. 487). Thereby, one can even state that a new ordering of time and space by which routines and routinised behaviour has been challenged as well as changed took place. The interactions influenced the way how societies work today.
This novel is also autobiographical. Throughout history, women have been locked in a struggle to free themselves from the borderline that separates and differentiate themselves from men. In many circles, it is agreed that the battleground for this struggle and fight exists in literature. In a
She finds that women are currently writing nearly as many books as men, on all kinds of subjects, such as economics and philosophy, “which a generation ago no woman could have touched“. So, to explore current novels and to see what kind of changes occurred in