How does Maria Teresa change as a person throughout In the Time of the Butterflies?
When the narrative begins, Maria Teresa is a naive and pretty superficial little girl. Her diary reflects the seminal events in her life, like the bag she will carry and the shoes she will wear at school. Furthermore, she still believes in the lies of "El Jefe," (Trujillo). In Ch 3, (my edition, pg 37) she notes in her diary, "I am taking these few days to wish El Jefe a Happy Benefactor's Day with all my heart. I feel so lucky that we have him as a president."
The next chapter to record Maria Teresa's thoughts show her attitudes in transition. She begins to understand that men do not have all the answers, not the brutal Trujillo, not her deceptive father, not any of the boys she has known growing up. Ch. 7 (pg 142) reflects this maturity. She writes in her diary: "Suddenly, all the boys I've known with soft hands and easy lives seem like pretty dolls I've outgrown and passed on to Minou."
By the last section devoted to her, Maria Teresa reaches an apex of maturity. She realizes that her life can be much more complicated and traumatized than she could ever have imagined. In Ch 11 (pg 235), Mate recalls and takes to heart her imprisoned friend's prayer, "May I never experience all that it is possible to get used to."
In her brief live, Maria Teresa ("Mate") has gone from self-centered, to appreciating her easy life, to understanding that the tables can turn in an instant.