In the Time of the Butterflies

How does Patria change from the beginning to the end?

Religion was a big factor, but what else was there besides that that defined her as a person?

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You are correct, religion was the biggest factor in Patria's life, therefore you can't ignore it when looking at her as a person. At the beginning of the novel, she wants to be nothing more than a servant of God; then she meets her future husband and dedicates her life to being a wife and eventually a mother, but God always holds the most special place in her life.

Patria always believed that Trujillo cared about his people in the same way God loves and cares for everyone. The realization that he was not the man (or god) she believed him to be was devastating. In Part II/ Chapter VIII, we see Patria emerging as a strong woman. She comes to see that her country has become truly dangerous. It is at this point that Patria learns to balance her love and feelings of protection for her family and country in relation to her religious beliefs.