The Butterflies Gender Roles

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In the Time of the Butterflies is published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in 1994. Julia Alvarez (1950- ) selected a story that had haunted her since she was ten. This novel should be considered as a historical novel due to narrate the lives and deaths of the Mirabal sisters also known as “Las Mariposas” (Sirias 6). Julia is profoundly influenced by their deaths as states that “their stories ended just as ours began” (Garza 5). In the Time of the Butterflies was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association; selected as a Book of the Month Club choice; nominated as a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Award in fiction; and it was chosen one of the Best Books for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association…show more content…
As its theoretical framework, this chapter relies on Judith Butler’s (1956- ) theory of gender and sexuality in In the Time of the Butterflies and studies the construction of identity and the effect of socially constructed gender roles on creating gender identity. The chapter, thus, focuses on the effect of gender roles and norms in the process of identity formation, and examines Judith Butler’s performative theory of gender and…show more content…
As a result, women often demonstrate a high ability to respond to the needs and feelings of the people in their lives. Alvarez’s depiction of the Mirabal sisters reflects these principles as her characters mature into strong women by learning the value of selflessly caring for others. The Mirabals’ concern for people contrasts to Trujillo’s character, which Alvarez portrays as violent, selfish and petty. Alvarez's focus on gender stresses the achievements of the Mirabal sisters. They live in a country and era in which essentialist assumptions of sexual identities and gender roles are clearly defined and categorized in men or masculine whom hold positions of authority and feminine or women whom of largely maintain domestic roles. Hence, the Mirabals’ girls challenge this unchanging views of the subject and the idea of a sex/gender distinction. Alvarez creates complex, individual characters for each sister to show the real women behind the famous martyrs. Alvarez creates personalities for the sisters, but sticks to the basic historical facts. Alvarez sets up the transitions between the present and the past due to illustrate the consequence of Mirabals sisters’ attitude toward their awareness of gender
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