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

In the Time of the Butterflies book cover
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Who were the Mirabal sisters from In the Time of the Butterflies?

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In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez is a fictionalized account of the four Mirabal sisters--Minerva, Maria Theresa, Dede, and Patria--who were integral members of an underground resistance movement during Trujillo's rule in the Dominican Republic.  Their resistance group was known as the Movement of the Fourteenth of June, and inside this group, the sisters where known as "Las Mariposas (The Butterflies)."  The sisters were repeatedly jailed for their protests and were often tortured during their incarceration.  Trujillo decided to end their resistance by having them executed.  A group of hired men intercepted three of the sisters after they visited their imprisoned husbands.  They were lead into a field and killed.  Dede survived the execution.

Although the Mirabal sisters are real historical figures, Alvarez uses elements of fiction to develop their characters and retreat into their thoughts in the novel.

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