In the Time of the Butterflies

The novel begins with a writer, “a gringa dominicana,” visiting Dedé at the childhood home of the Mirabal sisters. Who or what is the primary focus of the first chapter? How does opening the narrative this way give structure to the book?

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Dede is the primary focus of the first chapter. An interviewer is coming to speak with her about her sisters and their experiences. As far as the narrative, Dede is the only sister to narrate her chapters in the third person; the author also uses the technique of rhetorical questions to imply that the reader is, at times, inside Dede's head, with access to what she is thinking or wondering.