In the Time of the Butterflies Questions and Answers
by Julia Alvarez

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What role does the father of "las mariposas" play in this movie? What happens to him, both physically and politically when he is taken to prison?

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I can speak to the fate of the father in the novel. (A link to a review of the film is below.)

Sr. Mirabel has been a loyal supporter of the brutal dictator Trujillo. Wealthier than most Dominican families, the Mirabels enjoy the better things in life, but they must always be careful to not anger Trujillo or anyone in power in his regime.

Unfortunately for Sr. Mirabel, his loyalty does him no good in the end. His strong-willed daughter Minerva slaps Trujillo at a dance, after he makes a sexually suggestive comment to her.

Jailed for her actions, Mirabel does not do well. One can assume that awful things happen to him, for in three short weeks he is a broken man both physically and mentally. He suffers a stroke in prison. The family is able to procure his release but it is too late, as Maria Teresa reveals in her diary: "Ay, poor Papa, he lost it in the end.." (Ch 7).

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