An Evaluation of Proactivity
Julia Alvarez’s novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, portrays the lives of four sisters who grow up during General Trujillo’s dictatorship of the Dominican Republic. Once of age, the four sisters, Minerva, Patria, Maria Teresa, and Dede each choose their own level of involvement in the rebellion against Trujillo. In Habit One of, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey writes, “[proactivity] means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.” (71). Between the four sisters of In the Time of the Butterflies, Minerva Mirabal displayed the most self-awareness and made independent decisions, making her the most proactive sister as defined by Covey.
Minerva is the third oldest sister in the Mirabal family. Of the four sisters, Minerva is the first to become involved in the revolution. Even at a young age Dede recalled Minerva “talking politics” with her family, sharing inner thoughts of her views on the government and how she thinks women need to be integrated in the political system. Covey emphasizes that “Proactive people are still influenced by external stimuli, whether physical, social, or psychological. But their response to the stimuli, conscious or unconscious, is a value-based choice or response.” (72). His statement conveys the fact that a proactive person is aware of what is happening around them, and makes choices based on careful thought. Naturally Minerva tends to take special consideration of her surroundings. She understands the situations that she resides in, and makes active decisions and choices without letting her emotions dictate those decisions. In many parts of In the Time of the Butterflies Minerva displays a higher degree of proactivity than the people around her. Julia Alvarez writes that Minerva and three other classmates performed a play for Trujillo during a...