Name three scenes in which rain appears in In the Time of the Butterflies. What does it symbolize?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Rain is used as a symbol of tragic or disastrous events, or as a foreshadowing of doom.  The first scene in which it is mentioned is at the end of Chapter 1, "a clear moonlit night before the future begins".  The family is all together, and Mama is chiding Minerva for her radical and dangerous political views.  Although the sky is clear, it is "as if drops of rain had started falling", and the family ends their conversation and hurries inside.  The girls are still innocent and uninvolved directly with revolution, but the course of their fateful trajectories is beginning.

Chapter 6, in which Minerva describes the Discovery Day Ball and her disastrous encounter with Trujillo, is drenched with rain.  After Minerva spurns El Jefe, the family flees the Ball, and "the rain comes down hard, slapping sheets of it".  The following days, when Papa is arrested and Minerva and Mama are trying to obtain his release, are characterized by unremitting rain - "the rain comes down...beating against the shutters, blurring the sounds inside the house...every corner of (the country) is wet, every river overflows its banks...every wall washed clean of writing no one knows how to read anyway".

In Chapter 7, it is raining on the day of Minerva's and Manolo's wedding, signifying the turbulent path that lies ahead for the two, both in their marital relationship and their politics.

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In the Time of the Butterflies

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