Women’s Roles (in the Time of the Butterflies) Essay

The Mirabal sisters became role models to many women all around the world. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez is a somber historical novel showing the role of women in society and their household in the Dominican Republic. In the Dominican Republic, men had absolute authority over everything in the early 1900’s. They were considered dominant and almighty, while women were expected to be elegant and inferior. Men were able to live whatever lifestyle they wanted to live in. What mattered was, as long as men were able to make their family’s income, they could do whatever they desired.

On the other hand, women had to run errands and take care of their husbands and children. This was the common system at the time. However, These traditions and attitudes did not stop the Mirabal sisters from standing up for what they believed in. For instance, the sisters proved to their society that that the dictatorship was a horrible thing. The Mariposas were fully committed to abolish the regime of Trujillo, even though they knew that they could be killed. They gave up many things to gain their freedom. The Mirabal sisters made a huge impact in the Dominican Republic.

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Minerva was a strong character in the Dominican Republic society.She was very interested in politics and women’s rights. Instead of getting married early and having children, she intended on going to law school and be more involved in politics. She was very motivated and she did not let anyone hold her back when she was aroused on something.

She was not afraid to speak up to the public about Trujillo’s wrong doings. “ I want to go to the university” (Alvarez 98) and, “I’m not interested in admirers until I have my law degree” (Alvarez 99). Although Minerva was bold, independent, and stubborn at times, she wanted to stand up for what was right, and fix what was abominable.Minerva was the most independent out of the four sisters; she was a strong woman in the Dominican Republic society. There is a huge difference between the women from the Dominican Republic in the early 1900’s and the women in current society. In the past, women were not as involved as they are today.

Society viewed them as being a simple “housewife”. Back then, a few brave women stood up for themselves so they could do more than just stay home and care for their family, Minerva was in that category. She was fighting to fain independence by being outspoken and fearless.Patria, on the other hand, was a traditional housewife in her household, she got married at a very early age and had children soon after. Women of today have equal rights as men; they have gained more opportunities and lost their “traditional housewife” status.

A somber historical novel, In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, showed many roles of women in society and their household in the Dominican Republic. Thanks to the Mariposas, many women were able to gain opportunities in their societies. This novel told many revolutionary backgrounds on women in both society and the household in the Dominican Republic.


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