In the Time of the Butterflies Study Guide

In the Time of the Butterflies

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

In the Time of the Butterflies is a historical novel by Julia Alvarez about the four Mirabal sisters resistance during the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. From the perspective of Dede Mirabal, the novel tells of Dede's education and learning from other students that Trujillo is actually a brutally oppressive leader. The sisters take part in the June 14 political group, meeting in their home and plotting to overthrow Trujillo. In retaliation, Trujillo has the three other sisters killed.

In the Time of the Butterflies Book Summary

This is the story of the four Mirabal sisters during the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. At school, one of the sisters, Minerva, meets a girl, Sinita, who later became one of her best friends. Sinita eventually confided in Minerva the truth about Trujillo - that their "glorious" leader was a killer. The sisters make a political commitment to overthrow the Trujillo regime. They are harassed, persecuted, and imprisoned, all while their family suffers retaliation from the Military Intelligence Service (SIM).

As vengeance for their political activities, Trujillo orders three of the sisters be killed on Puerto Plata Road, with their driver Rufino, while returning from visiting their husbands in jail. The women and driver are beaten to death and later their vehicle and bodies are dumped off a cliff in order to make their deaths look like an accident.

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