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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In In the Time of the Butterflies, why does the church turn against Trujillo?

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The church finally takes a stand against Trujillo's regime after witnessing the way in which Trujillo ruthlessly bombs and kills his own people. In the novel, Patria witnesses this, and feels a very strong connection with the young men that are killed, as she associates them as other lost children, in addition to the children she has already had but has lost. As Patria recalls, what drove the church to make this stand against Trujillo above all else was his slaughter of his own people. Note the following quote:

The word was, we were all brothers and sisters in Christ. You could not chase after a boy with your machete and enter the kingdom of heaven. You could not pull that trigger and think there was even a needle hole for you pass through into eternity.

Patria therefore becomes one of the founding members of the ACC which stands for Accion Clero-Cultural, the group that seeks to oppose the despotism of Trujillo based on their religious beliefs. The church therefore, after waiting around and trying to get an answer from the Pope as to how they should respond, finally takes matters into their own hands after witnessing this slaughter, and oppose Trujillo.

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