Gender Theory In In The Time Of The Butterflies By Julia Alvarez

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Gender Theory is a lens that can be applied to a novel by analyzing male and female characters. It involves analyzing gender roles, stereotypes, etc. In the novel In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, there are different roles assigned to women and men. In the time that the novel took place in, women had the role to be obedient wives and good mothers. Men had the role to wear the pants in the relationship. Some characters in the novel conform to the roles that are given to them, but even though they followed what was normal they did not end up happy. The characters that conformed to their gender roles had their lives negatively impacted. This theory can be applied by analyzing the characters: Dede Mirabal, Mama, and Jaimito Fernandez. …show more content…
Conforming to her role of a good wife is what made her stay with her husband, even though he was cheating on her. As a good mother she would not let her daughters find out. As a woman she would have realized that her husband looked better and younger when going to do his business. She sometimes did things the girls did not understand. When mama found out Minerva was hanging out with Lio, even though he had communist views, she was furious. Dede remembered, “That night when Papa came home from doing his man’s business about the farm, Mama took him to her room and closed the door… they could hear Mama’s angry voice” (75). She was angry because he was not present in their family, he was too busy chasing a younger woman. As a good mother she would not let her daughters know that …show more content…
The girls noticed that this was strange because mama did not like to leave papa alone. They talked about all men being scoundrels, but the girls told their father was not. When they said that, “Mama looked out the window a moment, her face struggling with emotion. Then, she said quietly, ‘yes, your father, too.’” (57). She did not say more, but living with a husband that had another woman was not easy for her. A good wife had to stay by her husband’s side and overlook any infidelity. She also was a good mother because she did not tell her daughters or try to turn them against him. She had conformed to the role that was given to her and she would have to live with that

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