According to Dede at the end of In the Time of the Butterflies, what is her purpose in life?
In Dede's final chapter before the novel ends, she reflects on what has happened to her since 1960 and how, in many ways, she still bears the scars of her sisters' deaths and also the double-edged sword of being the lone survivor out of all of them. Her purpose, as she defines it, shifts from being a listener to being somebody who actively speaks out against oppression and tyranny. Note how she summarises this purpose:
After the fighting was over and we were a broken people... that's when I opened my doors, and instead of listening, I started talking. We had lost hope, and we needed a story to understand what had happened to us.
Dede's purpose in life therefore comes to feature the same spirit and determination that her dead sisters displayed in their lives. As the single surviving Mirabel sister, she uses her position and identity to spearhead rhetoric for change and democracy in a way that combats despotism and remains true to the original struggle of her sisters.