What connection can be made about Patria from the following passage from The Time of Butterflies: "But the other must not have heard him for he kept on running towards us. I looked in his face. He...

What connection can be made about Patria from the following passage from The Time of Butterflies:

"But the other must not have heard him for he kept on running towards us. I looked in his face. He was a boy no older than Noris. Maybe that's why i cried, ' Get down, son! Get down!.' His eyes found mine just as the shot hit him square in the back. I saw the wonder on his face as the life drained out of him, and I thought, Oh my God, he's mine."

Asked on by lauren43

1 Answer | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

After the stillborn birth of a child, Patria suffers a religious crisis, and she begins to question her loyalty to Trujillo. She doubts her faith in God, too, but she does not yet join her sisters in the resistance movement. It is years later after her son Nelson becomes involved that she names two of her children after two freedom fighters from Cuba. 

Still, Patria's real epiphany occurs in Chapter 8 when she witnesses a massacre of young rebels. She hears someone yell for the boys to take cover, but one keeps running, so Patria shouts at him. Unfortunately, it is too late; the wonder of his own death on his face moves Patria profoundly. For, to her, this boy is the stillborn she had thirteen years ago. 

At the next meeting of the rebels, Patria expresses her comprehension of the change in her religious faith:

That room was silent with the fury of avenging angels sharpening their radiance before they strike.

When Padre de Jesus enters the room, he immediately senses the conversion to the cause of the resistance in Patria: 

"Patria Mercedes, how you’ve changed!”

I shook my head back at him, and I didn’t have to say it. He was laughing, putting on his glasses after wiping them on his cassock, his vision—like mine—clean at last.

She and the priest both have decided that the time for rebellion is ripe:

The time was now, for the Lord had said, I come with the sword as well as the plow to set at liberty them that are bruised.

Father de Jesus and the others cannot wait for word from the Vatican or from the bishops; they must act. Patria announces her commitment as she says, "Amen to the revolution." Patria, then, becomes the third butterfly.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,929 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question