illustration of a young woman's silhouetted head with a butterfly on it located within a cage

In the Time of the Butterflies

by Julia Alvarez

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What are the 50 most important quotes in the book?

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I am adding four more quotes to the list; I hope these help.

"As for the sisters of legend, wrapped in superlatives and ascended into myth, they were finally also inaccessible to me. I realized, too, that such deification was dangerous, the same god-making umpulse that had created our tyrant. And ironically, by making them myth, we lost the Mirabals once more, dismissing the challenge of their courage as impossible for us, ordinary men and women" (from the postcript, page 324).

"Minerva is up to her old tricks again. She wraps a towel around the radio and lies under the bed listening to illegal stations.

Today she was down there for hours. There was a broadcast of a speech by this man Fidel, who is trying to overturn their dictator over in Cuba. Minerva has big parts memorized. Now, instead of her poetry, she's alwasy reciting, Condemn me, it does not matter. History will absolve me!"

I am so hoping that now that Minerva has found a special someone, she'll settle down. I mean, I agree with her ideas and everything. I think people should be kind to each other and share what they have. But never in a million years would I take up a gun and force people to give up being mean" (page 123).

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Fifty?? How about five? :)

Minerva, Ch 2. :"The country people around the farm say that until the nail is hit, it doesn't believe in the hammer." (*Until pain is made real, it seems like it will never happen to you.")

Minerva, Ch 6:"I know the clouds have already rained."(To her father; Minerva has discovered his other family; the deed cannot be undone.)

Dede, Ch 8 (to interviewer): "I followed my husband. I didn't get involved." (*This is Dede's huge regret in life; her decision not to act in a cause she knows is just leaves her the sole survivor of the four sisters. It is clear that Dede, until the very end,if she had to do it over again, would chose to act and die with her sister.)

Patria, Ch. 8: "I scrambled to a little niche where a statue of the Virgencita was standing, and begging her pardon, I knocked her and her pedestal over." (*This is an important moment for Patria, who realizes that religion is not found in icons, but in passions.)

Maria Teresa, Ch. 11: "May I never experience all that it is possible to get used to." (*Human beingscan learn to accept all kinds of horrible living conditions.)

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