In 1960, the secret police of the Dominican Republic assassinated three sisters known as “las Mariposas”—the butterflies, dissidents working to overthrow the dictator Trujillo. Julia Alvarez’s 1994 historical fiction novel, In The Time of The Butterflies, tells the story from the perspectives of Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa “Mate” Mirabal as well as a fourth sister, Dedé, who survived. Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and recently named the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read, the novel brought greater attention to the lives and work of the Mirabals, today recognized as national heroes and feminist icons.


Read our full plot summary and analysis of In the Time of the Butterflies, chapter-by-chapter break-downs, and more.  


See a complete list of the characters in In the Time of the Butterflies and in-depth analyses of Patria, Dedé, Minerva, and Mate.

Literary Devices

Here's where you'll find analysis of the literary devices in In the Time of the Butterflies, from the major themes to motifs, symbols, and more.


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