Quotes relating to Trujillo's rise to power prove he attained his position by force. The self-appointed head of the military, he assumed leadership of the entire country;
"something that surprised even the people who had surrounded the palace, Trujillo announced he was the president" (Ch.2).
Trujillo tolerated no opposition, eliminating those who would criticize him.
"People who opened their big mouths didn't live very long" (Ch.2).
"Most families in Salcedo had at least one son or daughter or husband in prison" (Ch.12).
He was accustomed to getting what he wanted -
"He wouldn't take no for an answer" (Ch.2).
The Mirabal sisters, on the other hand, never sought the power the people bestowed on them. Minerva observes,
"People look to us to be an example, we've got a responsibility" (Ch.12).
"My months in prison had elevated me to superhuman status" (Ch.12).
Even the Church looked to the sisters for inspiration -
"Even in church during the privacy of Holy Communion, Father Gabriel bent down and whispered "Viva la Mariposa!" (Ch.12).
After the sisters died, people Dede did not even know came to see her and express their love, and talk about the martyred "Butterflies".
"They would come with their stories of that afternoon...they all wanted to give me something of the girls' last moments" (Epilogue).