In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

In the Time of the Butterflies book cover
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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

  • Discuss whether writing a fictional account of real people is a valid or fair means of depicting them for an audience. Take into consideration Alvarez's comments in her postscript to In the Time of the Butterflies.

  • Research the life of a woman who, like the Mirabals, fought for human rights or political change at great personal risk. The list of subjects is quite long, but some possible choices include Harriet Tubman of the Underground Railroad, Qui Jin of China, Ruth First of South Africa, Fannie Lou Hamer of the American Civil Rights Movement, Rigoberta Manchú of Guatemala, or Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma. You also may want to compare people's responses to these women to the Dominican people's responses to the Mirabal sisters.

  • Compare the lives of Dominican women today to the lives of Dominican women before 1960. Explore their social positions, gender expectations, educational opportunities, familial roles, or their political impact.

  • Compare contemporary political conditions in the Dominican Republic with conditions during the Trujillo regime.

(The entire section is 332 words.)