How does Minerva's pride both help and hurt her in initial interactions with Trujillo in "In the Time of the Butterflies"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Minerva's pride as a determining element in her intitial interactions with Trujillo is most evident at the Discovery Day Dance and the events following.  Minerva's presence has been specifically requested at the event by Trujillo, a notorious womanizer.  Minerva is at first reasonably cautious, but as the evening progresses, her fear dissipates, and she becomes aware of "a dangerous sense of (her) own power".  She boldly cuts through Trujillo's lewd flattery and tells him she wants to attend the university, shrewdly "playing this man against (her) own father", who will not allow her to go. Her prideful willingness to play Trujillo's dangerous game soon "(goes) too far", and when his advances become too blatant, Minerva ends up slapping him. 

Minerva's actions result in the incarceration of her father, and put the family under suspicion when her purse, containing evidence tying her to Lio, a known revolutionary, falls into government hands.  Incorrigeably, she further presses her case to go to law school when the family finally gains an audience with Trujillo to secure her father's release, in this case confidently taking El Jefe's challenge to wager over a set of dice.  Minerva's pride does get her into the university, but the costs are great, and she never gets to practice.  Her father does not recover his health after his imprisonment, and the family, suspected now of disloyalty, is closely watched.

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In the Time of the Butterflies

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