Summary Of Julia Alvarez's In The Time Of The Butterflies

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Butterflies, as free as they may seem, were once creatures incapable of flying along their own paths. As caterpillars, their mobility confines them and limits their abilities. Through their development in metamorphosis, caterpillars turn into an independent insect worth marveling over. In the novel In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, the symbol of a butterfly fits Patria Mercedes Mirabal well because her views on the rebellion change suddenly and dramatically, from isolation to involvement. Just like a butterfly, Patria Mercedes Mirabal changes as time and her surroundings require her to. Butterflies begin their lives as caterpillars, living a simple life, never venturing too far from their homes and living in fear of a larger…show more content…
One major event that changes her character is witnessing the death of a boy in a mountain bombing while on her retreat with the Christian Cultural Group. It is here that she realizes how significant of an impact can be left on her family, which is seen through her thought, “I’m not going to sit back and watch my babies die, Lord, even if that’s what You in Your greatest wisdom decide” (162). Also through this quote, the reader is able to see Patria start to open in ways she has not in the past. This shows a change in her outlook on speaking out for the common good of the Dominican. She takes action to her beliefs more than she previously has, joining the Church’s plot for revenge as a prime example, and shouting, “Amen to the revolution” (164). Patria’s involvement in the revolution demonstrates the first time that she is willing to put her children and herself in the way of danger for a greater cause. She quickly realizes why Minerva and her sisters resented Trujillo: “That moment, I understood her hatred. My family had not been personally hurt by Trujillo, just as before losing my baby, Jesus had not taken anything away from me. But others had been suffering great losses” (53). Patria becomes aware of the harsh conditions set in place by the government, and she starts to ignore or disobey

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