Summary Of Julia Alvarez's In The Time Of The Butterflies

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Julia Alvarez’s novel, In The Time of The Butterflies, depicts the journey to revolutionize under Rafael Trujillo’s regime. The novel focuses on the Mirabal family and their four sisters: Patria, Dede, Minerva, and Maria Teresa. The story’s main plot concentrates on the sisters’ journey to defeat their dictator, Trujillo, who inflicts torture upon them. Together, the sisters unite their country. The sisters and many characters from In The Time of The Butterflies use education, unity, and love to motivate themselves to get to a point of freedom from the power oppressing them. Julia Alvarez uses this power structure to enhance the fact that the Dominican people suffered so much and illustrate how hard they worked to gain power over their dictator. …show more content…
One example is Lio and Minerva, “All I knew was I was not falling in love, no matter how deserving I thought Lio was. So what? I’d argue with myself. What's more important, romance or revolution?” (86) Alvarez includes this inner-dialogue of Minerva to give example and tone to the story as a whole. Using the sister's thoughts and personal feelings bring a more loving and thoughtful tone to the novel. Another example is the way that the husbands treat their wives. Many of the husbands usually have a wife on the side, as first exemplified by the Mirabal sisters’ father, “I only go to see my children. I’m not involved with their mother anymore. (91) Even though many of the sisters’ husbands do end up having another affair on the side, just like Papa, the girls focus on their children and the future civilians of the Dominican Republic and put their efforts forward to make their lives better. One example is when Minerva almost gets caught by her school principal going to secret underground revolution meetings. When Maria Teresa asks why she is going, she responds with “She wanted me to grow up in a free country.” (39) This is an example of how the sisters bonded together early on and focused on how to better the country so the younger generations could have a better life.

The significance of In The Time Of The Butterflies is that it tells the story of the Dominican people’s fight for power against Trujillo’s regime. Alvarez tells this story to help the Mirabal sisters story survive and to be passed on to multiple generations. The sharing of this story prevents social injustice and prevents from history repeating itself, as well. Alvarez puts effort into sharing this story in hopes that by sharing it, it will prevent dictatorships like Trujillo’s in the

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