In the Time of the Butterflies

Describe Trujillo's visit to the school and the girls' performance. What did Sinita do?

Chapter Two, Minerva, 1938, 1941, 1944

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Celebrations for the centennial of the Dominican Republic have been going on since Independence Day on February 27. To show their loyalty to Trujillo, the Mirabal family members make the celebration of Patria's twentieth birthday into a patriotic affair. At school, the girls are issued new history textbooks that paint Trujillo as the country's savior—"it was pretty disgusting." A new wing has been added to their school building. It is called the Lina Lovaton Gymnasium. There is going to be a recitation contest with a centennial theme, and Minerva, Sinita, Elsa, and Lourdes decide to enter together.

Minerva and her friends win the recitation contest. They learn that they will be sent to the capital to perform for Trujillo on his birthday. Minerva does not want to go, but Sinita begs her to go, saying that their play is not about Trujillo but about "a time when we were free. It's like a hidden protest." They decide to do the skit dressed as boys.

They drive to the capital and wait in the palace anteroom. They are ushered into the hall, where Trujillo is sitting next to his son, Ramfis, whispering. The girls begin the skit and gain confidence as the performance goes on. At the point when Sinita is supposed to step forward and show off her bow and arrow, she breaks from the script and walks toward Trujillo's chair, taking aim at him. Ramfis jumps up, grabs her bow, and asks for her name. When she says it is Perozo, he realizes what family she is from, and he orders her to untie Minerva, saying, "Use your dog teeth, bitch!" Released, Minerva begins the chant, "¡Viva Trujillo!" On the way home, they are scolded by Sor Asuncion for their behavior.