illustration of a young woman's silhouetted head with a butterfly on it located within a cage

In the Time of the Butterflies

by Julia Alvarez

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What happens in chapter 6 in the book "In the Time of the Butterflies"?

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In this chapter, Minerva makes the startling discovery that her father has a second family. Wondering where her father frequently disappears to, one day Minerva decides to follow him. She is shocked to see his "Ford parked in front of a small, yellow house...Every time I drove the Ford, these raggedy girls came running after me, holding out their hands, calling for mings...One time, I stopped at the side of the road and stared at their Mirabal eyes. "Who is your father?" I asked point blank.

Later, Minerva confronts her father. He tells her "I hid them to protect you."

This chapter helps Minerva reach a new level of maturity. She no longer sees things as black and white, good and bad. Now, her "woman's eyes sprang open" and she was able to see the grey's in the world.

The other important event in Chapter Six are the goings-on at the dance. Minerva tries her best to "work" the system and convince Trujillo to let he go to college. Trujillo tries to take advantage of Minerva and she slaps him. Although there are not immediate repercussions, the impact of her act will soon follow.

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