In the Time of the Butterflies Questions and Answers

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)

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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

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

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

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

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)

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In the Time of the Butterflies

As María Teresa (Mate) writes in her journal accounts, Manolo and Minerva explain to her why they are called butterflies. Now that they are part of an underground movement opposing the repressive...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2021, 11:39 am (UTC)

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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 the Time of the Butterflies presents the story of the four Mirabal sisters. Their father, Enrique Mirabal, is a farmer who tries to stay out of trouble. He avoids involvement in any activities...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2020, 6:00 am (UTC)

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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

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)

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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

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)

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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

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)

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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

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

Minerva and Dede are both beautiful and intelligent women. Their personalities are vastly different, however. Minerva is outgoing and assertive, and chafes at the confines of home and family....

Latest answer posted April 17, 2008, 1:19 pm (UTC)

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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)

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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 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

The Trujillo regime is built around a cult of personality. In In the Time of the Butterflies, Rafael Trujillo, brutal dictator of the Dominican Republic, presents himself as a wise, benevolent...

Latest answer posted March 16, 2020, 12:07 pm (UTC)

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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)

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In the Time of the Butterflies

One of Dede's weaknesses is her capitulation to the "rule" of men. Unlike Minerva, Dede believes in the authority of patriarchy. In Chapter Five, she disapproves of Minerva's crossing the line in...

Latest answer posted April 30, 2007, 8:06 pm (UTC)

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In the Time of the Butterflies

Probably the most notable difference between Dede and Minerva is in their personalities, especially as concerns their levels of assertiveness in making decisions. Minerva is adventurous and...

Latest answer posted March 7, 2010, 1:14 pm (UTC)

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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

Minerva is intelligent and determined. From a young age, she desires to become a lawyer, but her ambitions are thwarted because her father dispproves. She does eventually achieve her law degree,...

Latest answer posted February 20, 2008, 5:10 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

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

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 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

The Mirabel sisters are faced with several conflicts throughout the novel. Internally each young woman struggles with becoming who she desires to be while remaining loyal to her family wanted her...

Latest answer posted October 3, 2008, 3:43 am (UTC)

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In the Time of the Butterflies

Loaded dice are dice that are improperly balanced, so that the player who uses them has an unfair advantage. In the latter part of Chapter 6, Minerva gambles with the dictator Trujillo, using dice...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2008, 5:00 am (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

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)

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In the Time of the Butterflies

It rains often in In the Time of the Butterflies, which is not surprising, as rain symbolizes the onset of trouble in this novel and trouble comes frequently to the Mirabals as they oppose the...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2021, 5:47 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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

Virgilio "Lío" Morales is introduced by Dedé's narration in chapter 5 of In The Time of the Butterflies. In this recollection,he meets Dedé and Minerva Mirabal at their father's shop. By Lío's...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2021, 12:39 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

In the Time of the Butterflies

In chapter 10, Patria discusses the horror of watching the SIM, which is Trujillo's secret police force, arrest numerous people she loves. At first, her husband, Pedrito, and her son, Nelson, are...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2021, 12:51 pm (UTC)

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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)

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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

In The Time of the Butterflies, the Dominican people experience Trujillo's abuse of power when they are forced to suffer through his unchallenged decisions. Early in the novel, Minerva learns...

Latest answer posted March 31, 2010, 7:57 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

Julia Alvarez’s novel In the Time of Butterflies tells the story of the three Mirabal sisters: Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa. María Teresa, nicknamed Mate, is the youngest of the sisters....

Latest answer posted November 11, 2019, 5:21 am (UTC)

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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)

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In the Time of the Butterflies

Dede Mirabal's husband, Jaimito, brands his three sons with his own name. Their first names are all Jaime as well, so they have to go by their middle names--Enrique, Rafael, and David. This is a...

Latest answer posted November 25, 2013, 7:15 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)

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)

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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)

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In the Time of the Butterflies

Patria alludes to the "crown of thorns" to describe her torment in the days and weeks after her sisters, husband, and son are rounded up by the Trujillo's police force, the SIM....

Latest answer posted August 8, 2008, 3:13 am (UTC)

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