In The Time Of The Butterflies Essay Introduction
For most kids, growing up is pretty tough. For Julia Alvarez, it was even harder. The twisted paths of adolescence became blurred and incredibly confusing to Alvarez after she was, along with her family, forced to leave her native Dominican Republic for the strange United States. This culture shock was difficult to digest at the beginning, but then Alvarez became fueled by the bullies who taunted her accent and the missing pieces that being a “Dominican hyphen American” left in her life (Haley). Born into a family that dared to defy a dangerous dictator, Julia Alvarez’s abnormal childhood formed a cultural divide that she struggled to navigate at first, but eventually turned into a major source of inspiration for nearly all …show more content…
Another inspiration to Alvarez’s work would be the Mirabal sisters—Patria, Dedé, Minerva, and María Teresa. Three of the sisters were killed by Trujillo’s henchmen after leading an underground uprising in the Dominican—the same one that Alvarez’s father belonged to—shortly after the family moved back to the United States (Kapai). Growing up and hearing their story had always left Alvarez feeling unsettled. She would later say, “My three sisters and I had made it. Three of those four sisters had not. I knew I had a debt to pay” (Alvarez).
Her family’s own escape to America proved to become the biggest influence of all. The culture gap that left Alvarez struggling later led her to label herself as ‘Dominican hyphen American,’ saying, “As a fiction writer, I find that the most exciting things happen in the realm of that hyphen—the place where two worlds collide or blend together” (Haley). It is in that hyphen that inspiration for most of Alvarez’s works have come