In the Time of the Butterflies Questions and Answers

In the Time of the Butterflies

In her work, The Time of the Butterflies, Alvarez tells of the Mirabal sisters' death as narrated by Dede and told to her by various people. There existed different accounts of their death even by...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2018 2:36 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

The oldest three of the Mirabal sisters were very close in age. Patria, the oldest, was born in 1924. The most religious of the three women, she seemed destined to enter the convent, but...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2009 6:59 am UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

Butterfly season varies depending upon what part of the world is being talked of. For example, butterfly season in the New England region of the United States is in their summer during July to...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2014 10:46 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

Minerva is arguably the lead protagonist of the novel and shows many acts of bravery and courage throughout the novel. As a young woman she defiantly slaps Trujillo for what she considers...

Latest answer posted September 16, 2010 12:16 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

Julia Alvarez deploys vivid imagery in the descriptions of the Mirabal sisters’ Dominican home. To create these images, she often uses similes and metaphors. Another literary device is dialogue....

Latest answer posted December 22, 2019 12:22 am UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

In Chapter 6, Minerva discovers that her father has a mistress and four other daughters. She also finds that he has been hiding letters to her from Lio. When she confronts him, her father defends...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2009 8:30 am UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

Chapter 9 in Julia Alvarez's In the Time of the Butterflies describes Dede's final interaction with her interviewer, as well as her final decision to not join the underground movement. As all of...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2018 8:21 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

Enrique Mirabal died as a result of his harsh treatment in prison and his failing health owing to the heart attack he had there. Though he doesn't die until 1953, this family still says that it's...

Latest answer posted April 2, 2019 3:16 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

In Julia Alvarez's book, In the Time of Butterflies, there are several symbols. First, as noted in the title, butterflies are significant. (This supports the theme of "change and transformation.")...

Latest answer posted August 30, 2011 12:49 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

In the novel In the Time of the Butterflies, Dede is the middle sister in the Mirabal family unit of four sisters. Unlike her outspoken and revolutionary sisters, Dede is a play-it-safe kind of...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2019 5:07 am UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

Maria Teresa changes throughout Julia Alvarez’s novel In the Time of the Butterflies from an individual who values material goods and popularity to someone who values love for her family. This...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2018 4:46 am UTC

3 educator answers

In the Time of the Butterflies

Chapter 1 of In the Time of Butterflies contains a lot of descriptive details that reveal hidden meanings and predict what is to come later in the novel. For example, in the beginning of the novel,...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2019 5:40 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

Dedé's father is a wealthy farmer and landowner who also runs a general store. Despite his wealth, Papa is actually quite a generous soul, which sets him apart from the economic and social elite of...

Latest answer posted June 14, 2019 8:51 am UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

1. In Chapter Five the girls, Dede and Minerva, finish their work at their father's shop and head to Tio [Uncle] Pepe's where they will play volleyball with their friends. But, Minerva has invited...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2015 5:53 am UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

The title In the Time of Butterflies comes from history. The Dominican Republic was ruled by a ruthless dictator, Rafael Trujillo, from 1930 to 1961. He was brutal and greedy beyond words; however...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2007 10:04 am UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

There are several characteristics of the butterfly which make it a potent symbol for the Mirabel sisters. As they face the violent consequences of a brutal dictator's rulership, as well as strife...

Latest answer posted April 16, 2019 3:30 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

Minerva's chapters are as follows and here is a significant quote & analysis from each. Pages numbers will depend on whatever edition you have. (Mine is the Plume paperback edition. Those...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2007 12:30 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

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...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2008 2:59 am UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

In the Time of the Butterflies is a historical fiction novel written by Julia Alvarez. The narrative centers around a fictionalized account of the Mirabel sisters, four revolutionaries and...

Latest answer posted January 3, 2020 9:10 pm UTC

3 educator answers

In the Time of the Butterflies

If you look back carefully at Chapter Five of this amazing novel, you can see that the animosity that exists between Dede and Minerva has its roots in the conflict they have over a man. When...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2011 4:06 am UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

The unsettling realization about Virgilio, nicknamed Lio, that Dede comes to is that he is really a Communist. Lio is "a radical young man" who, for a period of time, was a close friend of the...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2009 8:57 am UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

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...

Latest answer posted February 1, 2019 6:16 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

Dede is the oldest and only surviving Mirabal sister. For much of the time, it seems of the four daughters, Dede is the least committed to the revolution. Dede "had always been the docile middle...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2007 11:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

Minerva is the narrator of the novel. She knows that the dictator Rafael Trujillo demands absolute loyalty and subservience from every Dominican. In his thirty years in power he had built up a...

Latest answer posted June 13, 2019 11:32 am UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

Dede is at first very suspicious of the American interviewer. She has been enduring the questions about her sisters, "Las Mariposas" (the butterflies) for over fifty years (1943-1994,...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2008 10:58 am UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

In chapter five Dede narrates to the interviewer(1994) a story concerning Virgiho Morales (Lio). She was romantically interested in Lio during his youth. After that, the story goes back to 1948....

Latest answer posted December 19, 2009 4:01 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

As a young girl of 10, Maria Theresa keeps a diary as a way to record her personal secrets, as many young girls do. In another diary she records her college years, and in a third her six months in...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2007 10:18 pm UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

On April 11, 1960, Maria Teresa is tortured at La 40; in undated journals between the 10th and the 16th, she recovers from her ordeal. When Maria Teresa is incarcerated by the Servicio de...

Latest answer posted April 5, 2019 5:04 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

You might want to look in the first Chapter and at Dede's reminiscence of the family time together in the garden at night. There is one excerpt from this chapter that really helps to set the scene...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2010 6:59 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

"El Jefe" wasn't just a physical entity; rather, the Dominican people considered it a metaphysical force that could be conjured up by simply thinking a non-approved thought. "God...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2008 10:09 pm UTC

3 educator answers

In the Time of the Butterflies

During her last year at Immaculada, Minerva befriends Hilda, a "really rude" young lady who "wears trousers and a beret slanted on her head like she is Michelangelo". Hilda lives in town but...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2009 2:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

At the beginning of Chapter Seven (1953-1958), Maria Teresa is very depressed, writing "I feel like dying" because she has been mourning the death of her father. On December 31, she starts her...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2015 9:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

In chapter 9, Julia Alvarez writes: So when she saw her three sisters coming down the path that afternoon, she felt pure dread. It was as if the three fates were approaching, their scissors poised...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2019 3:49 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

In my opinion, Patricia is the character that goes through the most dramatic changes in the novel. Patricia changes from religious, to being in love, to losing a child, to losing her faith, to...

Latest answer posted June 25, 2015 6:05 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

The chapter concludes with: “A dark night was falling, one of a different order from the soft, large, kind ones of childhood under the anacahuita tree, Papa parceling out futures and Mama fussing...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2007 8:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

Because this novel is written in a way that uses all four sisters' voices as individual narrators of their part of the story, you could examine the difference in tone between the four sisters. The...

Latest answer posted December 27, 2011 12:50 am UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

Maria Teresa writes, "I asked Minerva why she was doing such a dangerous thing. And then, she said the strangest thing. She wanted me to grow up in a free country. "'And it isn't that already?'...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2009 6:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

In the Time of the Butterflies discusses not only the fact that the sisters stood up for what they thought was right, but also the various processes they each went through to get to that place....

Latest answer posted April 16, 2018 9:13 pm UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

This novel has a unique structure in that the first chapter is told in the present day from the voice of Dede, the only surviving Maribel sister who reflects back on the past and on her sisters'...

Latest answer posted April 7, 2011 10:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

Chapter 11 covers the time period from March to August, 1960 and is narrated by Mate. She and Minerva are in a cell with twenty-four women. The two sisters turn down the pardon that's offered to...

Latest answer posted June 7, 2007 2:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, or El Jefe, used brutal tactics to rise to power in the Dominican Republic and stay there for over thirty years. Tens of thousands were murdered under his dictatorship and...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2018 9:46 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

Under house arrest, Minerva tries to settle her nerves and adjust to life back at home. She and her sisters can only leave the house with permission from Pena, a SIM guard, and regularly go only...

Latest answer posted November 1, 2008 2:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

Although it might seem that the revolution causes the dissolution of Dede's marriage, I think that in reality it merely exposes weaknesses that are there already. As Dede muses in Chapter 1,...

Latest answer posted May 6, 2008 2:04 pm UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

The use of the moon symbolically seems to indicate the level of violence at each stage in this incredible novel. The moon seems to act as some kind of gauge of the level of safety or danger of the...

Latest answer posted March 27, 2011 8:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

Dedé spends a great deal of time trying to keep her sisters’ memories alive. Recall how at the beginning of the story, she shows pictures of her sisters to the interviewer and recounts stories...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2020 3:05 pm UTC

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In the Time of the Butterflies

In Chapter 5, Dede first realizes the full extent of Lio's revolutionary ideology. Mate reads from the newspaper that "there had been a demonstration at the university, led by a bunch of young...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2009 6:59 am UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

What's so interesting about Alvarez's choice to alternate chapters from the different points of view of the three butterfly sisters is that, although the stories are fictitious (though inspired by...

Latest answer posted February 1, 2019 8:47 pm UTC

2 educator answers

In the Time of the Butterflies

Each of the four sisters in Julia Alvarez’s novel In the Time of the Butterflies loses their innocence and/or faith in the early chapters of the book. Prior to each sister’s realization, each...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2018 8:16 pm UTC

2 educator answers

In the Time of the Butterflies

There are numerous "man vs. society" conflicts in Alvarez's novel. Of course, there is a free society vs. a dictatorship, ie, Trujillo's reign vs. the "movement" for freedom...

Latest answer posted August 26, 2007 9:35 am UTC

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

When Minerva says that she "got free" when she went away to boarding school, she is referring to feeling liberated from the restrictiveness of her household. As a bright, inquisitive, and defiant...

Latest answer posted January 10, 2019 11:02 pm UTC

2 educator answers

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