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Minerva is a very strong character, but beneath her defiant and unflappable demeanor she does have deep fears. She allows herself to reveal her vulnerability in Chapter 12, when she is trying to adjust back to life at home after seven months in prison. Minerva describes the distress she feels at the thought of even going out of the house at that point. She and her sisters are allowed two outings a week, "Thursdays to La Victoria to visit (her husband), and Sundays to church" but as soon as they turn onto the road, she begins to panic, her "heart...pounding" and her "breathing...shallow". Minerva is not comfortable in "open vistas", but "the sense of being adrift in a crowd of people pressing in on all sides" does not provide her a sense of security either.
Minerva is also afraid that she will not be able to live up to the "superhuman status" to which the people of the Dominican Republic have elevated her. She feels that she must "(hide) (her) anxieties and (give) everyone a bright smile". She laments that the people who so revered her for standing up to Trujillo have no idea "how frail (is) their iron-will heroine", and how difficult it is for her to hide her fears and pretend everything is like it was before her incarceration.
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