In the Time of the Butterflies Essay
In the Time of the Butterflies
Courage is valued among the characters, and they display it in varying amounts. Among all the sisters Minerva shows the most courage. First she starts off by wanting to be a lawyer and she is not afraid of speaking her mind. She goes to a boarding school where she meets a girl who is against Trujillo and learns how bad Trujillo really is. This is when she begins to start acting rebellious. Once she is older, Minerva’s family is invited to a party at Trujillo’s palace where she does things that most people would never even dare to think of doing.
Minerva plays a game with Trujillo which she wins and gets her father released from arrest and gets her into law school. In law school, she joins a group that is speaking out against Trujillo. A lot of courage is needed to complete the tasks that Minerva completed and with these tasks she developed a love-hate relationship with Trujillo making some of the tasks easier to complete. In the end three out of the four sister have a lot courage and become a symbol for many people. The three sisters are killed, but by who they were killed is very controversial.
The sisters are all aware of their cowardice as they perceive it, and while they sometimes fight for courage, in some cases they simply accept their cowardice, except for Minerva who shows courage at all times. Growing up Minerva was almost the bravest out of all the sisters. She was not afraid to speak her mind, even if they might be spies around. She would say things about Trujillo that would make everyone jump and ask if she was trying to get everyone killed. She always wanted to be free and make a difference in the world.
Government and politics were not a place for women. A woman’s place was to follow her husband and be loyal to her husband. Minerva, on the other hand, wanted to be a lawyer. In reply, her mother comments, “ Just what we need, skirts in the law! ” Minerva argues, however, “It is just what this country needs … It’s about time we women had a voice in running our country. ” Her sisters had always worried about Minerva and her bravery because politics were dirty business and someone was always getting killed because they said the wrong thing and made Trujillo unhappy.
Minerva did not care about the risks about being a woman in politics, she cared about equality and making a difference in the Dominican Republic. She thought she would get some freedom if she left home and went to a boarding school and that’s exactly what she did. In the boarding school, Minerva met a girl whose family was killed by Trujillo and she absolutely hated him for that. This girl told Minerva about all the terrible things that Trujillo has done and this is when Minerva starts learning more about Trujillo. This is also when you start seeing Minerva start becoming rebellious.
This is shown when there is a class going on, but Minerva is not there instead she is on a balcony above the class talking to the girl who told her about Trujillo. This boarding school is also where she meets Trujillo for the first time and also shows bravery here. The school is performing a play for Trujillo when Minerva’s friend lifts her arrow and points it at Trujillo. Minerva risks herself to stop her friend from shooting the arrow. It was a small act of courage, but its the small acts that lead to the greater ones.
Once Minerva graduates from boarding school and returns home, shortly after the family receives a party invitation from Trujillo. Once inside the castle, Minerva gets seated at a special table which was a request from Trujillo and once Trujillo arrives in the ballroom where the party is being held, he asks Minerva to dance. While dancing, Trujillo tells her how he never forgot her from the boarding school and how he thinks that she is very beautiful. Trujillo slowly moves his hands down her back and onto her buttocks and that is when she backs up and slaps him.
No one would ever dare slap Trujillo, even after an act like this. This is a great act of disgrace and Minerva was very brave for standing her ground and slapping him. Everyone looked down on her with shock for what she did and her family was very mad and panicked and left immediately. Her family was very mad because slapping Trujillo could get the whole family killed because that was an act of rebellion. Minerva explains to her family that she did not slap him as a sign of rebellion, but because he touched her buttocks making her very uncomfortable.
The family then was not as mad, but they were still very worried to what was going to happen to them. At this point of the movie, Minerva is still the one with the most courage while the rest of the family is accepting their cowardice. It took a lot of courage for Minerva to slap Trujillo in such a public place and at his own party. She knew there would be consequences to this, but she was still not afraid. Soon after the party soldiers came to the Mirabel household looking for the father. They said they were taking him in for quest oning, but everyone knew that he was being arrested and they did not know when they would see him again. Once the soldiers left, Minerva smashed the picture of Trujillo that was hung in their house because of her anger. This is another act of courage because if there are spies around they can come in and take Minerva away and kill her for doing that. ANother act of courage is when Minerva goes to the castle of Trujillo to talk to him about releasing her father. Trujillo came up with a game that they would play.
They had to roll dice and who ever got the higher number won. The deal they made was if he won her father would not be released, but if she won the father would be released and she would be allowed to go to law school. Women were not allowed to go to law school in the Dominican Republic, so asking Trujillo to let her attend was another act of courage. Minerva ended up winning and Trujillo break the deal that he made with Minerva. The father was released and Minerva soon left to law school. At this point of the movie, Minerva’s sister began to show courage too.
In law school, Minerva joins a group that goes against Trujillo and comes up with different plans and ideas to rebel against him, for example hanging up posters around town. One day one of Minerva’s sisters runs away from home and comes to Minerva. This is brave because women were needed at home and it was dangerous for them to travel by themselves. Also leaving home with not telling anyone would leave the parents worrying about their daughter. Minerva tells her sister to go home because it’s a bad time and not a place for her sister to be, trying to protect her.
Leaving her sister met a guy who was part of the rebellious group and he got her to be in it as well. Now this is sister is being brave because now she is going against Trujillo as well putting the family in even more danger. Soon the third sister is also in the group and the three sisters become the leaders of this group. They become known as, “Las Mariposas. ” The group is soon caught and everyone in it is arrested. When the sisters look out a small hole in the wall, they see a flag with butterflies on it, representing them and this gives them more hope.
Soon the sisters are released from jail by Trujillo. When Minerva arrives at home, Trujillo is there waiting for her. He tells her that she has a lot of courage because everytime he does something nice for her because he likes her, she instead turns her back and does something back and is not afraid to pay the consequences. She then asks Trujillo to release hers and her sisters husbands from jail and Trujillo says he will.
The sisters go visit their husbands and give them the good news, but on the way there they get stopped by soldiers. They get taken out of the car and into the cornfields where hey get slaughtered. This ending is very controversial because it was a group of men that killed them, but after all their courage and everything they did for the country, who would want to harm them? Also could have Trujillo ordered their death even if he loved Minerva and did everything she asked for? This part of the story may never be known. The movie begins with only Minerva being the brave one, but ends with three out of four sisters being the brave ones and fighting for what they believed was right. The sisters stopped accepting their cowardice and displayed their courage.
As she was being marched down the hall, a voice from one of the cells called out,Mariposa does not belong to herself alone. She belongs to Quisqueya! Then everyone was beating on the bars calling out, Viva La Mariposa! Tears came to my eyes. Something big and powerful spread its wings inside me. Courage, I told myself. And this time, I felt it. ” This is a quote from the movie and book that shows that although Minerva has been courageous the whole time, she did not feel it until she was leaving the jail. Everything that Minerva did in her lifetime, built her courage up and made her stronger each time.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 9 September 2016
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