In the Time of the Butterflies Essay

Words: 1227
Pages: 5

The “Revered” Dictator “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” (Andre Gide) In the novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, written by Julia Alvarez, four sisters are led through a risk infested journey in which they must overcome hindrances with hollow consequences. This historical fiction novel takes us through a rollercoaster of events, incorporating everything from the partialities towards women, to life below the oppressive administration of the Dominican Republic’s dictator, Rafael Trujillo. The events painted by the four sisters give us some insight as to the positives and negatives of life in the Dominican Republic. As the novel progresses, we see the diversity in relation to the …show more content…
However, here, the “weakness” within everyone is clear and in reality, is what contributes greatly to Trujillo’s success. Through acts like these, Alvarez is discommending the citizens for being weak and unable to fight back. In addition to the weakness possessed by everyone, Trujillo also does some revolting things. We can see the emphasis on his ruthless acts here, “Suddenly, the dark fills with spies who are paid to hear things and report them down at security.” (Alvarez 10). Trujillo’s abuse of power is very explicit as in using spies; he is basically taking away the freedom to speak freely. When one thinks of spies, they link it to secret, sneaky, and overall, lack of privacy. Clearly the use of spies cannot be granted by just anyone, and in doing so, Trujillo gives himself a dictator image. Ultimately, the very basis of the word “weakness” is shown by Alvarez in that she parallels this word with her reproving feelings towards the general population as well as she directly connects it to the oppressive regime under Trujillo. Furthermore, Trujillo’s oppressive leadership unmistakably leads to anger within everyone. As stated earlier, even his guards dwindle on the idea of being disloyal. This unsecured loyalty adds to the many flaws in Trujillo’s system. Alvarez picks out the phrase, “rotten system” in order to properly classify Trujillo’s regime as dishonest and immoral.