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In the Time of the Butterflies

by Julia Alvarez

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What choices does Dede make in In the Time of the Butterflies, and are they right?

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At the end of Chapter Five, Dede decides to burn Lio's letter to her sister Minerva. The rebel Lio has asked Minerva to take asylum with him. He believes they can do more good outside their country than within it. By doing so, she removes the element of choice from her sister.

By doing so, Dede and her sisters never knew how their lives may have turned out. Instead, events that transpire from Minerva staying within the Dominican Republic. This seminal event arguably leads to the tragedies that occur later in the novel, leaving Dede alone to contemplate her "moral" choice, the ramifications of her decision, and life without her dear sisters.

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