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.
Minerva Mirabal was the leader and the voice of the butterflies before their murders on November 25, 1960. Minerva was the leader of the group because of her extroverted attitude and her disgustion of oppression. Minerva consistently portrayed the image of the butterfly to the public despite the struggles she had going on in her personal life. From a young age, Minerva’s identity is rooted in her struggle against oppression. Throughout her life, she transforms her identity into a national symbol.
In Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies the theme of entrapment is seen multiple times throughout the book, mainly to represent the authoritarian regime of Trujillo. There are several different types of entrapment in the book but the main three are the discovery of entrapment, physical entrapment and the roles of women holding back the women from fulfilling their destinies. These three point mainly surround Minerva, who can be considered the bravest sister for being the first one to get involved with the revolution, but the other sisters deal with entrapment as well. In in the Time of the Butterflies, Alvarez writes about entrapment, even at the beginning she starts to introduce symbols and quotes that hint at the huge theme throughout the book. Minerva is the first sister to discover this in the book.
Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies is a work of historical fiction set in the Dominican Republic that focuses on the four Mirabal sisters who bond together to rebel against the corrupt leader of their country, Rafael Trujillo. The four Mirabal sisters, Patria, Dedé, Minerva, and María Teresa form closer relationships with each other as they figure out a way to bring down the tyranny of Rafael Trujillo. Although they have a mutual goal, each of the Mirabal sisters has different feelings and thoughts throughout this time period. The theme of coming-of-age and identify is best exemplified through the character of María Teresa, known as Mate, through the ways she matures throughout the novel and becomes her own person who stands up for what she believes in. From the beginning of the novel to the end, Mate has come from from being the innocent little girl who writes in her journal to a young woman following in the footsteps of her sisters to make a change for the better in her country.
If you question Trujillo’s leadership or rebel against him, there is a chance you will die. By killing the Mirabal sisters, Trujillo maintains his power by showing everyone else what he is capable of doing. Killing the Mirabal sisters instills fear in others around them because everyone knows what Trujillo is capable of. Trujillo instills this fear in people so nobody else will question his
This story also contains betrayal as a structure. Then, Dictator Trujillo ordered his troops to murder three of the four Mirabal sisters and Sinita’s family. In the Time of the Butterflies is also structured as a hero’s journey because the novel is about four sisters
In the Time of the Butterflies- Critical Analysis The novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez was published in 1994 and was written as a tribute to the Mirabal sisters, better knowns as “Las Mariposas” (the butterflies). These sisters were women who stood up against the transgressions in their country—a country that was under a governance of a cruel dictator known as Raphael Leonidas Trujillo. It just so happened to be that this circumstance is the reason as to why the Alvarez family had to move back to New York City. Her father joined the underground assembly in an endeavor of plotting to overthrow Trujillo. However, the plan was discovered and because he was frightened, that they could probably get caught, the father took his family and fled to the United States.
Throughout In The Time Of The Butterflies, Patria goes from being very religious and attending church often to losing all her faith, to falling in love and risking everything for her family, and even losing her child to a miscarriage and having to overcome the tragedy, all within her short life. At a very young age, Patria, is brainwashed by nuns and the religious commitments of being a Roman Catholic. After this exposure, Patria longs to be like the nuns. For the majority of her life, she aspires to follow god in hopes god will take care of her throughout her entire life. At the Church she is washing feet as part of a ritual during Holy Week in the Roman Catholic culture.
It can be said without question that the Mirabal sisters made extreme sacrifices in the name of social justice. They gave up their time, their energy, their families, their safety, and finally, their lives. But did those sacrifices really make a difference? After all, they were killed before they could see Trujillo’s regime topple. And the sisters arguably did little to impact Trujillo’s reign and his assassination several months after their deaths.
The Mirabal sisters, also known as La Mariposas, have been known throughout the Dominican Republic for participating in a major revolution against their unjust ruler, Rafael Trujillo. After years of the sisters’ hard-work, along with the others who were involved in the revolution, their work paid off when Trujillo's regime ended with his assassination. However, in order for them to have taken part in this act against Trujillo, the Mirabal sisters had to sacrifice several things from their lives, most importantly, their freedom and their relationship with their family. Many people believe that these sacrifices were not necessary because the sisters didn’t need to go to the extent where the end result would be them orphaning their children. Nonetheless,