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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Maria Teresa character analysis Need info on Maria Teresa's character profile and specific quotes for her

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In Alvarez's In the Time of the Butterflies, Maria Teresa, "Mate", the youngest of the butterfly sisters, matures from innocent child, preoccupied with pretty, trivial things, to brave freedom fighter and writer in the resistance against Trujillo.

If I were to provide evidence to support her character development I would focus on the following chapters and excerpts:

In chapter 3, page 48, Maria Teresa first starts journaling in her Little Book at Catholic school and wonders what it means to have a soul: "Minerva says a soul is a deep longing that you can never fill up, but you try . . . I have that longing, I guess. Sometimes before a holiday or birthday party I feel like I'm going to burst. But Minerva says that's not exactly what she meant."

What does this reveal about what Mate cares about when she is a girl?

In chapter 7, after Mate, now a young woman, accidentally meets "Palomino", one of the revolutionaries helping her sister and her husband: "I told Minerva and Manolo right out, I wanted to join . . . I don't want to be babied anymore. I want to be worthy of Palomino. Suddenly all the boys I have known with soft hands and easy lives seem like the pretty dolls I've outgrown and passed on to Minou."

What does this show draws Mate into the revolution? What does she want now?

In chapter 11, after Mate has spent a lot of time in prison, but still doesn't realize how brave she has become—sneaking messages to the outside world in her braids, going on a hunger strike, and even being tortured into revealing information: "I was tempted to say, Ay, _____ save yourself, save us. But I couldn't. It was as if that would have been the real way to let them kill us. So I told those monsters that I would never ask ______ to go against what his conscience told him was right."

What kind of person has Mate become in the end? Is she as brave as her older sister Minerva, who she's always looked up to for her courage?

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Since you ask for quotes and character analysis, I assume you are asking about this book. The story takes place in the Dominican Republic.  Maria Teresa is the youngest Mirabel sister.  Although she is playful at first, when she stays with Minerva and gets involved in the revolution, she gets more serious.  Of course, she ends up in prison for her new interests.  Even though she is tortured in prison, she is also brave.  By writing to the Americans, she manages to expose the abuse in the prisons.  For quotes, I would focus on Part I, Chapter 3, Part II, Chapter 7 and Part III, Chapter 11, since these are Maria Teresa's chapters.
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Maria Teresa's story is one of growth. She is very superficial and materialistic early in the story, and becomes a tough, committed revolutionary later. One poignant quote is when she describes her experience as a political prisoner, talking about women who break down and cry:

The alternative is freezing yourself up, never showing what you're feeling, never letting on what you're thinking.

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