In the Time of the Butterflies Questions and Answers Part III: Chapters 9-12 and Epilogue
by Julia Alvarez

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Questions and Answers Part III: Chapters 9-12 and Epilogue

1. How does the movement impact Dedé’s marriage?

2. How does Dedé, the non-participating Mirabal, nonetheless participate?

3. How does Trujillo’s regime respond when the church supports his overthrow?

4. How does Mate feel about her cellmates? What does she learn about humanity?

5. How does Minerva change in jail? What happens to the movement?

1. The question of Dedé’s participation in the movement leads to productive arguments with Jaimito and leads to a redistribution of power in their relationship. Dedé gets more control, and Jaimito makes a little more room for her to live her own life.

2. Dedé realizes that just by being related to her three other sisters her fate as a Dominican and as a Mirabal family member is bound up in their actions.

3. Trujillo comes down against the church and forbids religious iconography and songs. They are now symbols of the movement against him.

4. Mate feels she has learned about people from other cultures and that not all criminals have evil intent when they do the things they do that land them in jail, especially in the Dominican Republic.

5. After her imprisonment, Minerva feels a desire to pass the leadership torch elsewhere and is physically and mentally exhausted. She feels unable to step back up to her former role. She actually wants to stay near home and raise her children, rather than remain at the forefront. Foreign countries get involved in sanctions and disapproval of Trujillo, and some inside the country wait for outside aid instead; the movement becomes fragmented.