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How does the structure develop a character in the novel? (choose a character)Can you...

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moodchangingp... | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 13, 2008 at 4:58 PM via web

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How does the structure develop a character in the novel? (choose a character)

Can you please explain what exactly is meant by "structure" and how can we refer to "structure"? Is it the structure of the language used (including imagery, similes.... etc) , or the structure of the plot?

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chloemink | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted July 9, 2008 at 3:38 AM (Answer #1)

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The written format of the book or rather the narrative technique used by Alvarez is a deliberate structure used to support character development. The chapters are narrated by the four Mirabal sisters. Alvarez arranges events in roughly chronological order, and jumps from one narrator to another to expand on their own perspectives and in turn help develop their character.

For example, in Part I, the novel opens in 1994 with Dedé. The second chapter is narrated by Minerva and depicts events in 1938, 1941, and 1944. The third chapter consists of María Teresa's diary entries between 1945 and 1946 and chapter four is narrated by Patria and begins in 1946. Her use of multiple points of view allows Alvarez to create her fictional Mirabal sisters and to intimately explore the sisters' contrasting personalities.

The books structure or use of individual perspectives, proves central to generating human characters. For instance, they each have different motivations for joining or not joining the underground movement against Trujillo, and their individual narratives reveal the development of their political beliefs. They also reveal the quality and depth of their love for others, as well as the difficulties they have maintaining their strength in the face of extreme adversity.

 

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