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Speaking to the interview woman, Dede addresses the theme of the role of women: "'Back in those days, we women followed our husbands.' Such a silly excuse. After all, look at Minerva. 'Let's put it this way,' Dede adds. 'I followed my husband. I didn't get involved." She is aware that she is using it as an excuse for not supporting her sisters, something for which she still feels guilty. The theme of courage is apparent at the end of this chapter, when Dede lies in bed tempted to "just let go," meaning to stop trying to maintain her sanity. But she talks herself out of it, thinking, "Courage! It was the first time she had used that word to herself and understood exactly what it meant." For Dede, it means staying strong for her family and not selfishly running away. Indeed, courage is much needed at a time when the authorities are cracking down quite successfully on her family. This is a high point of tension for her and for the narrative.