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In the Time of the Butterflies: Reflection Paper

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In the Time of the Butterflies: Reflection Paper

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  • October 2012
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From 1930 to 1961, General Rafael Leonidas Trujillo held absolute control over the Dominican Republic. His strategy to stay in power was to simply murder anyone who opposed him. Thousands of people were killed during his reign of terror. Amongst those victims were three—out of four—of the Mirabal sisters, Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa. Dede was the surviving sister. In the Time of the Butterflies is a fictionalization of the lives of the Mirabal sisters from their personal views of what happened during that time. It recounts the rebellion against Trujillo. Minerva, the most independent sister, began to realize the horrible actions of Trujillo from her school friend Sinita, whose family was a victim of “El Jefe”, near the start of the novel. Throughout the novel, the sisters began to realize the injustice of Trujillo's dictatorship on the people of the Dominican Republic. The butterfly then became their symbol, which represented independence—their main goal against Trujillo's dictatorship.

In the Time of the Butterflies was the most interesting book I have read in a while. There were a lot of deep moments throughout this novel, like the part where Maria Teresa talked about her bad dreams about Papa after her death or where Patria was in the church up in the mountains while she witnessed a young boy being murdered. But the one moment that stood out to me the most was the moment that talked about Minerva and Sinita's play. I liked to how the author had Sinita describe it as a “hidden protest.” While performing the play for Trujillo, Sinita aimed her bow and arrow at him. This is where I noticed the “protest.” This scene portrayed Sinita's urge to get back at Trujillo for what he did to her family.

While some aspects of the book stood out to me in a good way, others did the opposite. One thing I did not like was the whole background situation in general. The idea of having a dictator run your country is a scary thought. Based on what I've read, the fact that...

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