Why does one sister, Maria Theresa, speak only from the pages of her diary in In the Time of the Butterflies?

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sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Alvarez wanted to provide different forms of voice for the women in her novel.  Dede, for example, only speaks through third person point of view until the very end of the story. Maria Theresa's diary gives us access to her private life from the time she was little girl and up through her life in prison. We see through her personal writings how she once admired the dictator and how her understanding of him changed.  Her writings in prison are particularly interesting because they even include sketches. Her diaries in the prison are important for what she cannot say, or for what she might have said but later tore out pages that covered such information.  She has difficulty talking about being tortured, for example, for indeed torture might be a most unspeakable experience. Could words ever capture it as effectively as a blank space?

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In the Time of the Butterflies

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