In The Time Of The Butterflies By Julia Alvarez

1234 Words5 Pages

The Fight for Political Change The dictator of Nigeria, Trujillo, causes uprisings and discontentment among the people of his country. Many Nigerians detest his strict government policies but are too fearful to protest in a meaningful way. However, four brave sisters, or “The Butterflies”, demonstrate their resilience and individuality in this novel when they strike back at Trujillo and his ways of ruling. The historical fiction novel In the Time of the Butterflies written by Julia Alvarez illustrates how important historical and political shifts in a government affect the lives of the characters in a society or culture. The characters in this society are punished for acts of rebellion because of Trujillo’s ruthless dictatorship. The sisters …show more content…

María Teresa writes, “What a shock, then, when Minerva got handed the law degree but not the license to practice. Here we all thought El Jefe had relented against our family and let Minerva enroll in law school. But really what he was planning all along was to let her study for five full years only to render that degree useless in the end. How cruel!” (138). Minerva’s assertiveness affects her livelihood because she is deceived by Trujillo and now cannot practice her law degree. Trujillo’s unfair government forces Minerva to change her life plans, and she now must endure the punishment of finding a brand new way to make a living. Later, María Teresa again voices her very own thoughts in her diary as she describes her experience of living in a prison cell. She explains that “The fear is the worst part. Every time I hear footsteps coming down the hall, or the clink of the key turning in the lock, I’m tempted to curl up in the corner like a hurt animal, whimpering, wanting to be safe” (227). María Teresa, a productive, strong, and capable member of society was forced into a …show more content…

When Patria and her daughter Noris are summoned to the National Palace, Trujillo takes interest in Noris for her beauty. Patria worrisomely states that, “The journalists noted the special attention we were receiving and came forward with their cameras…Next day, we were famous. On the front page of El Caribe, the two photographs were side by side: Noris giving her hand to a smiling jefe (Young Offender Softens El Jefe’s Heart); and me, kneeling, my hands clutched in prayer (Grateful Madre Thanks her Benefactor)” (226). Because a famous and highly influential person took interest in a girl, she and her family became well-known as a result. Even though Patria was not trying to attract attention to she and her daughter, the dictator brought it on them, and they gained fame from the event. Similarly, celebrities in America can bring attention to common people solely by their endorsement or interactions with them. After Minerva was released from prison, her rebellious image gave her new experiences. She describes the experience of “…the sense of being adrift in a crowd of people pressing in on all sides wanting to touch me, greet me, wish me well” (259). Minerva’s political image of rebellion and bravery is admired, which is a main reason why she acquired so much fame from those around her who also desire a

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