In the Time of the Butterflies

Patria's Eternal Courage 11th Grade

Patria, of Julia Álvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies, contrasts devastating acts of courage with moments of uncertain fragility. She lives in a time period when her country is ruled by the harshest of leaders, Raphael Trujillo. After gaining power, Trujillo established a secret police force that tortured and murdered the opposition to his rule. The Mirabel sisters overcome the regime of one of the cruelest dictators in history through their determination. Patria in particular indicates that she is mentally and morally prepared to surmount adversity. As the oldest of the Mirabel sisters, she uses her experience and religious beliefs to aid her in surviving. Throughout Patria’s journey, she depends on various characters to help her vanquish the challenges she faces. Although Patria encounters moments of weakness, she exposes the strength of her character by persevering till the end.

Patria exposes her first example of courage when she shows concern for her sister Minerva. Minerva speaks out against the government because she has lost her religious faith. Through worrying about Minerva, Patria begins to question her own faith. Her confession comes as a shock. She describes it as, “[…] I admit it, Minerva’s talk had begun...

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