In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

September 21, 2010
By , Aurora, CO
When you read In the Time of the Butterflies, you may think of fairy tales and happy endings, but in reading this book you learn that it’s completely opposite. This book reflects four sister’s life under Dominican Dictator Trujillo with the main themes of Political Corruption, Faith, and Trust.
Political Corruption is a theme in In the Time of the Butterflies because it, as well as in this book, happens any-and-everywhere. Minerva is worried about her friend Sinita. She is crying because her brother had been killed. She told Minerva that in order to tell the secret of Trujillo. “According to Sinita, Trujillo became president in a sneaky way. First he was in the army, and all the people above him suddenly started dying off, till he was the one right below the head of the whole armed forces”(Pg. 17). This quote explains the sneaky ways of Trujillo and why living under his power is so dangerous. But why do you think he is so evil. Well, political corruption can be caused because non-equaling of government and citizen. Maria Teresa (also known as 'Mate') begins to live with Minerva and Manolo.One night a man sneaks up to her window asking for them. Mate lets him in because he had a package. He panicked when he saw that Mate wasn't -one of them-. But who's -them-? "Well the next morning Manolo and Minerva explained everything. A national underground is forming. Everyone and everything has code names. This was to keep Trujillo guessing. If he found out, they'd all be died. There were groups spread all over the Island."(Pg.142) This quote explains the reason why With Trujillo being a lying, sick, perverted, backstabbing Dictator and the citizens forming against him, political corruption was bound to happen.
In the beginning of the book, Patria, Minerva and Dede gets sent to a Catholic school because Patria wanted to be a nun. The father disagreed at first because he thought it was a waist of beautiful women. But the mother was in for having a faithful family "It started with Patria wanting to be a nun. Mama was all for having a religious in the family. So it was settled all three of us( Patria, Dede, and I) would go to Inmaculada Concepcion."(Pg.11) This shows the family's first commitment to becoming faithful and religious. But as time goes on the Faith in you starts to question itself." And so that was that Patria Mercedes Mirabel de Gonzalez was known in around Son Jose de Concuco as well as Ojo de Agua as a model catholic wife and mother. I fooled them all! Yes, for time after losing my faith. I went on.(Pg.55). So did all Mirabels lose there faith while fighting for freedom? Well Patria did, so explains this quote.
Trust is shown in this book as well. When Patria is faced with the challenge of losing her third child. She is also faced with questioning her husbands silent night leavings. So one night she follows and sees him at so possessive over a small box that he dug a whole to cover.This quote explains it all." After he was gone to the yucca fields the next day, I searched and searched, but I could not find the spot again.Ay.Dios, how I worried that he had taken our baby from consecrated ground. I decided to check first before insisting Pedrito dig him back up."(Pg.54)

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

exactlyfret said...
Oct. 31, 2011 at 12:17 pm
The book was great, but you need to work on your grammar, it made the review hard to read. But the book was amazing, possibly the best I ever read!
Site Feedback