In The Time Of The Butterflies Themes

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Alvarez’s novel In the Time of the Butterflies bears testament to the monopolizing effects of dictatorships on society through the story of the four Mirabal sisters, Las Mariposas. Each sister shows a different side of Dominican culture, and in turn, the government’s parasitic effect on it. Even the church is not spared from these horrors: whether the church was aided or suppressed was irrelevant to Trujillo; the government must impact every facet of Dominican life. Despite condemning Trujillo, and by extension authoritarian governments, to the farthest extent, Alvarez is careful to avoid deifying the Mirabal sisters, a practice which she sees as one the of main forces that keep dictators in power. This additionally serves to highlight the repressed role of women in the Dominican…show more content…
Through her novel In the Time of the Butterflies, Alvarez explores the impact of dictatorships on religion, the socio-economic structure of a country, and the role of women in Dominican society.
A key theme of this novel was the Trujillo regime’s iron fisted control over every aspect of Dominican life, which was especially prevalent through religion. The Dominican Republic is a predominantly Catholic nation, therefore control of the church was imperative to gain control over the Dominican people (Gale Group 122). Thus, Trujillo insisted on being honored at churches, popularizing the phrase “God and Trujillo” (Gale Group 121). This does not seem inherently malevolent, perhaps indicative only of a well liked leader with a good public relations team;
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