GradeSaver (TM) ClassicNotes: In the Time of the Butterflies

In the Time of the Butterflies Study Guide

by Julia Alvarez

In the Time of the Butterflies study guide contains a biography of Julia Alvarez, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

In the Time of the Butterflies is divided into three sections of four chapters each. Each part opens with Dede in third-person narration whereas the narration is given in the first person for the other sisters. Dede’s chapters are divided into two parts: 1994 (the present) and the past, when her sisters were alive, beginning with 1943. The time frame of the "present" is a span of one afternoon, in which Dede gives an interview. But the interviewer’s questions transport Dede, and the reader, back in time and into the consciousnesses of the sisters.

Part I

Dede begins an interview with a woman at around three o'clock. It is 1994. When Dede asks her what she wants to know, the interviewer answers, "Tell me all of it." Dede is transported back to…

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