Analysis of Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies
In the Time of the Butterflies, written by Julia Alvarez, is the story of four sisters who take an emotional journey while becoming a symbol of hope in the corrupt Dominican Republic, as they seek to make a political revolution. Throughout the story, we dig deeper into each sister’s life and learn more about her individual traits. In the book, Alvarez makes the Mirabal sisters come alive throughout the book with her use of foreshadowing, detailed characterization, and selection of detail. The more the reader journeys farther into the book, the more the aforementioned devices become of importance Throughout In the Time of the Butterflies Alvarez does an impressive job using selection of detail to create a strong mental image of the characters and setting for the reader. In the opening lines of Chapter One Dede describes the area of where she lives as the interview woman is coming over soon when she says, “The woman will never find the old house behind the edge of towering hibiscus at the bend of the dirt road” (3). By using visual imagery Alvarez gives a clear description of where the Mirabal sisters reside. The sisters live in the foothills of the tobacco fields, a very unpopulated area, which is hard to find as no street signs exist in the country. On the way home from Trujillo’s residence after the disastrous skit put on by the sisters Alvarez writes, “As the road darkened, the beams of our headlights filled with hundreds of blinded moths. Where they hit the windshield, they left blurry marks, until it seemed like I was looking at the world through a curtain of tears” (29). Alvarez compares the blurry marks to a curtain of tears, giving the reader a sense of the somber mood in the car. Alvarez tells of the dismal mood because the sisters had let Sor Asuncion down, she was not happy they didn’t act as the ornaments of the nation as they were supposed to. Sor Asuncion was telling Patria to pray to the...
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