Archetypal Criticism In In The Time Of The Butterflies

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Archetypal Criticism in In the Time of the Butterflies
Recurring symbols and themes can be found in just about any form of literature. These archetypes can easily be spotted when using a literary theory. A literary theory is used to analyze and interpret literature. Archetypal Criticism is a literary theory that focuses on common archetypes in literature. Archetypal Criticism claims that certain characters recur in literature, and there are no new stories (Davidson). Archetypal Criticism can be applied to In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez to reveal the common character types and motifs portrayed in the novel. The characters Minerva and Trujillo closely resemble the character types of the rebel and villain, and Patria is a reflection
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Minerva is the most rebellious out of her sisters and is not afraid to fight for what she wants. Even at a young age, Minerva was rebellious when it came to issues she didn’t agree with. When she didn’t like that she saw rabbits caged up, she “[...] opened a cage to set a half-grown doe free” (Alvarez 11). She didn’t think, or care, what the consequences of her actions could be. As she grew up, she continued to become more rebellious. When she finds out about Papa’s other woman, she drives to her house, “[...] turn[s] into the dirt path and crash[es] into the Ford, making the bumper curl up and shattering the window in back” (Alvarez 88). She is so mad at Papa that she destroys his car, clearly showing how rebellious she can be. Minerva is such a rebel that she even slaps Trujillo. When Trujillo keeps pulling her into him while dancing, she says, “I can see my hand in an endless slow motion rise—a mind all its own—and come down on the astonished, made-up face” (Alvarez 100). He makes her get so mad that she can’t help but rebel against him and slap him. She hates Trujillo so much that she becomes a leader of a movement to oppose his regime and overthrow him. According to the article “American Villain-Types” by sociological researcher Orrin E. Klapp, the common rebel character type can be defined as, “A kind of outlaw who seems to specifically …show more content…
Trujillo has the power to control people and instill fear in them, just like a villain. When Minerva finds out the secret of Trujillo she says, “According to Sinita, Trujillo became president in a sneaky way. First, he was in the army, and all the people who were above him kept disappearing until he was the one right below the head of the whole armed forces” (Alvarez 17). Trujillo didn’t earn his position, just like most villains don’t earn theirs either. Sinita also told Minerva that “Three of her uncles were even friends of Trujillo. But they turned against him when they saw he was doing bad things” (Alvarez 17). He is able to trick the people close to him so he can get what he wants. However, when his friends find the villain in him, they turn against him. According to the article “American Villain-Types”, a common cowardice villain type is the underhanded traitor. The article says, “This villain is like a renegade in turning against his group, but he bores from within, works in an underhanded or secret manner to betray those who trust him” (Klapp). This is exactly how Trujillo acts in the novel. He betrays those who trust him, such as Sinita’s uncles, and they turn against each other. Trujillo perfectly portrays the villain character

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