In the moment of the Butterflies an overview In throughout the Butterflies, Dedé, the last surviving Mirabal sister, frames the story of how her sisters ended up being heroes in the Dominican Republic throughout the dictatorial regime of Rafael Trujillo.

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Mate and also Minerva Mirabal discover of Trujillo’s brutality and join the resistance activity to fall him. Mate and Minerva get married revolutionaries. Patria joins the movement after angry a massacre.Mate, Minerva, and Patria travel to a prison where two of your husbands have actually been detained. They space brutally murdered on the means back native the prison.Today, the Mirabal sisters are recognized as “the butterflies.”
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critical Updated on may 21, 2020, through Editorial. Word Count: 1404

Based top top true events, In the time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez centers roughly the resides of the Mirabal sisters during Rafael’s Trujillo’s dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. Every chapter the the novel is report from the view of among the 4 sisters—Dedé, Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa. While Dedé’s chapters are greatly told in the 3rd person, the other three sisters’ chapters use first-person narration.


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Part 1

The first chapter introduce Dedé, the single surviving sister the the Mirabal girls. In the current (1994), Dedé reflects a portrait the her family from she youth to a woman who is interviewing her around her family’s history. ~ Dedé shows upon storage of her childhood, the story move to Minerva’s perspective.

During adolescence, Minerva and her sister Patria attend a convent school, Inmaculada Concepción; your younger sisters María Teresa also attends the school later on on. Soon after arriving, Minerva becomes friends with another young student named Sinita, that shares that all of the males in her household were killed by Trujillo’s regime. Minerva therefore becomes aware of Trujillo’s ethically dubious climb to power. A few years later, Minerva and several various other students from the convent perform a skit for Trujillo himself.

Meanwhile, María Teresa (“Mate”)—the youngest of the Mirabal sisters—observes Minerva’s progressively antagonistic views towards Trujillo, which she records in a collection of excerpts from her diary. Patria, the eldest and also most religious of the four sisters and also the following narrator, pipeline the convent after she i do not care romantically involved with Pedrito González; they marry 3 days prior to her ten birthday, and Patria soon offers birth come a son, Nelson, followed by a daughter, Noris, two years later. When her 3rd baby is stillborn, however, she starts to question her faith in God.

Part 2

Dedé tells the interviewer around Virgilio Morales (“Lío”), a close friend of the Mirabal sisters that goes into exile after ~ the papers expose him together a significant member that a Communist organization. Minerva, who becomes especially close come Lío, discovers the her father has actually been hiding Lío’s letter to her, and a rift forms in Minerva’s relationship with she father.

Further on, Minerva and her household attend a exploration Day party at one of Trujillo’s mansions. While there, Minerva meets Trujillo and also is forced to dance with him. She mentions her plans to walk to legislation school, to which that replies that women don’t belong at universities. Quickly after, he provides inappropriate advances toward Minerva, and she slaps him. Fortunately, she manages come escape through her family; however, due to the fact that leaving a gathering before Trujillo—now referred to as “El Jefe”—is against the law, their father, Don Enrique, is lugged to the royal residence for questioning the adhering to day.

Minerva and also her mother, Mercedes, journey to the capital, where Minerva is additionally taken in for questioning. At the nationwide Police Headquarters, she meets Trujillo’s right-hand man, who asks her around Lío. Minerva admits the she to know him. After 3 weeks, Enrique, Mercedes, and also Minerva space taken to satisfy with Trujillo; luckily, the releases them.

María Teresa, that is now eighteen, to write in her diary just prior to Christmas in 1953 the Enrique has passed away. Numerous weeks after the funeral, Minerva returns to regulation school in Jarabacoa, whereby she falls in love with and marries a guy named Manolo. ~ Mate graduates native the convent, she decides to move to Jarabacoa to to visit the university as well. Minerva offers birth come her very first child, Minou, and also graduates from legislation school, but she shortly learns that, despite Trujillo permitted her to walk to regulation school, he has actually forbidden her from practicing law.

Later, when living through Minerva and Manolo, Mate obtain a package indigenous a guy named “Palomino.” She opens up it to uncover guns inside and realizes that they are part of an secret rebellion to fall Trujillo’s regime. She quickly falls in love through Palomino—whose genuine name is Leandro—and lock marry top top February 14, 1958.

In 1959, Patria, living in Ojo de Agua, suddenly becomes pregnant through her fourth child. As El Jefe’s regime grows stronger, she grows pertained to for the safety and security of she teenage son, Nelson, and also decides come send him come a seminary. Later, when Patria is attending a spiritual retreat, El Jefe’s pressures invade the area, bombing the church and killing forty-nine men and boys in the bordering area. This disaster invigorates Patria to join the revolution, and consequently, the underground organization grows right into the Fourteenth the June Movement. As part 2 the the novel concludes, the group prepares for a revolution against El Jefe’s regime.

Part 3

In the present, Minou hesitantly asks Dedé why she never ever went through her sisters on the day they died. She admits that since her husband, Jaimito, refuse to get associated in the Fourteenth that June Movement, she feeling obligated to obey him. She recalls the night as soon as the Servicio de Inteligencia Militar (SIM) guards broke into María Teresa and also Leandro’s apartment come arrest Leandro, as well as the exploration the next day that the police had likewise arrested Pedrito, Nelson, and Manolo. Not long after, Minerva’s residence was ransacked, and also she also was arrested, followed by Mate.

Patria shows upon she grief during the three months complying with the arrests that her family members. Later, her half-sister, Margarita, delivers she a letter indigenous Mate, informing Patria the she and also Minerva space alive yet confined in a cabinet in La Victoria. When they space in prison, Padre Gabriel publicly speak out against Trujillo, and also the regimen wages war versus the Catholic Church with boosting aggression. Patria learns native Captain Peña, a center member, the Nelson has been pardoned by El Jefe, along with most the the various other minors who have been imprisoned. At the moment of Nelson’s release, Patria i do not care cognizant of her family’s fame.

María Teresa, in excerpts from she diary, describes living in a tiny cell v sixteen various other female prisoners. While Mate commonly experiences breakdowns and also asthma together a an outcome of the prison environment, Minerva is an openly rebellious prisoner that staunchly proponents for the male political detainees as well. In respectable 1960, Captain Peña commutes Minerva and also María Teresa’s five-year jail sentences to house arrest.

During their time in home arrest, the sister navigate Trujillo’s enhanced erraticism in the challenge of international criticism, consisting of uprisings and also nightly killings of masculine prisoners. Minerva expresses her desire to return to her former life, and also although the sisters have now become icons the the revolution—referred to together “the butterflies”—she admits that her morale has been depleted. Meanwhile, dangers from Trujillo towards the Mirabal sister escalate, and they room warned no to go the end in public.

On November 25, 1960, Minerva, María Teresa, and also Patria space taken by their driver, Rufino, to visit your husbands in prison at Puerto Plata, where the men have actually been transferred. If driving over a steep mountain pass, they conference a storm. On the method back, the sister encounter plenty of obstacles however ultimately decision to drive residence in the dark.


Dedé relates the occasions of the night she sisters passed away in the first person. Throughout the trial, that is revealed the they, together with Rufino, to be brutally murdered by a group of five men. The guys ambushed them on the road and also murdered them, then moved the car—with the dead body inside—off of a cliff. In the year following, the murderers to be imprisoned and also released, Trujillo to be assassinated, and also Pedrito, Manolo, and Leandro were lastly released indigenous prison. 3 years after the deaths that the Mirabal sisters, Manolo and also other rebels were killed by generals, while Pedrito and Leandro stepped far from politics and remarried.

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Dedé defines that both she and her mommy raised she sister’s children, until Mercedes’s fatality in 1980. After showing upon the profound losses she has actually suffered end these years, Dedé attends one honorary event, whereby she runs into Lío. Once they converse, Lío clues out exactly how her sisters led the route for rebuilding the Dominican Republic to it is in a prosperous, progressive, and free nation in the year after Trujillo’s dictatorship. In portraying the lingering soul of she parents and sisters, Dedé realizes her own power in carrying on she family’s legacy.