In the Time of Butterflies vs. the Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Topics: Dominican Republic, Rafael Trujillo, Mirabal sisters Pages: 2 (659 words) Published: December 15, 2012
In the Time of Butterflies vs. The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Rafael Trujillo impacted the lives of the families in both, In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alverez and The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. While the effects of the tyrannical regime were direct and immediate for the Mirabal family, it was much more indirect and subtle for the Carabal family. Both novels carried overarching themes of love, oppression and the quest for freedom.

The Mirabal sisters, Minerva, Patria, Maria and Dede along with their husbands lived under the ruthless and domineering regime of Trujillo from 1938 to 1960. They lived in constant fear of being arrested, molested, raped, imprisoned or killed and anything in between. The time of Trujillo was truly a time of terror and complete oppression in the Dominican Republic. The sisters along with the other citizens all grew up worshipping him as though he were some sort of god. However as they came of age, they became painfully aware that he and everything he represented was nothing less than pure unadulterated evil. The Mirabal sisters were rebellious and courageous and took action to fight back against all that the dictator stood for. It was their disdain for oppression that gave them their courage and kept the close as a family. It was their love for one another that brought them through their struggles in the darkest of times and it was their quest for freedom for all of all of the Dominican Republic that gave them hope. Their quest was so strong that the sisters gave the ultimate sacrifice.

The Carabal family on the other hand, lived in a different time. With the exception of La Inca, and Beli’s father, Abelard, they were all born after Trujillo was killed and no longer in power. However the residuals of his evil lingered and had the reverse effect on the Carabals. Life for the family all goes downhill after the imprisonment of Abelard by Trujillo. Far...


Citations: Alvarez, Julia (1994) IN THE TIME OF BUTTERFLIES, Chapel Hill, NC Algonquin Books of
Chapel Hill
Diaz, Junot (2007) THE BRIEF AND WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO, New York, NY
Penguin Group
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