In the Time of the Butterflies Questions and Answers
by Julia Alvarez

In the Time of the Butterflies book cover
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In the book In the Time of the Butterflies, what are three quotes that show foreshadowing, and three quotes that show strange details in chapter 1?  That would be very helpful—thanks a lot!

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Rebecca Karli eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Chapter 1 of In the Time of Butterflies contains a lot of descriptive details that reveal hidden meanings and predict what is to come later in the novel. For example, in the beginning of the novel, there is a lot of description of Dede's flowers and plants, which she tends to while waiting to be interviewed about her sisters' deaths.

From the very first line,

She is plucking her bird of paradise of its dead branches . . .

to later on that day, when she places a silk orchid in a vase:

She still feels guilty about not continuing her Mama's tribute of a fresh blossom for the girls every day.

and then finally, when the interviewer arrives:

The slamming of a car door startles Dede. When she calms herself she finds she has snipped her prized butterfly orchid. She picks up the fallen blossom and trims the stem, wincing. Perhaps this is the only way to grieve the big things—in snippets, pinches, little sips of sadness.

we can see how these precious flowers represent her three beautiful sisters, "the...

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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