Lesson Plans In the Time of the Butterflies

Unit 2: In The Time of The Butterflies
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Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Login or Sign up. When is it important to take a stand against something that is wrong? What if doing so would put you or your family in danger? Is your life worth your beliefs?

About the Author

This lesson will focus on the themes and analysis of the novel. In the Time of the Butterflies tells of the Mirabal sisters -- Patria , Minerva , and Marie Therese , also known as Mate -- and their involvement in the resistance to Rafael Trujillo 's dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. Through their stories, which are picked up by their sister Dede after their murders, we learn about the horrors of Trujillo's regime.

There are many themes that resound through this novel, but the most obvious are the fight against dictatorship, the importance of family, and courage in the face of danger. Read on for the analysis of why each theme is so important to the overall story.

In the Time of the Butterflies: Themes and Analysis

Rafael Trujillo ruled the Dominican Republic from until While the standard of living in the Dominican Republic at that time was not too bad, the people had very little civil rights. All power was in Trujillo's hands. Called 'the goat' by the characters in the novel, Trujillo allowed no dissention with his rule. He rewrote the history books to highlight his own power and ruled with an iron hand. Those who stood up to him were tortured and murdered, often in public.

His power over the Mirabal sisters is an example of how he acted towards his people. He tries to seduce Minerva, and when she won't have him, he sabotages her law degree and is eventually responsible for her murder. In this novel, three sisters are involved in the rebellion, and one is not.

Even though this causes disagreements, and the sisters are very different from each other, the bond that is their shared blood keeps them close. They are raised to be good girls, and told their duty in life is to marry and have children.

While the sisters do conform to this ''womanly'' ideal, they also with the exception of Dede get involved in politics. The wrongs they see around them are too horrible to let go. When Dede chooses to obey her husband and stay out of the rebellion to focus on her children and family, her sisters are not happy, but they still love her. The family bond always remains. In this time period of the Dominican Republic, it was hard to be brave. There were spies for the government everywhere, and no one knew who to trust. Each of the sisters must struggle with her own fear of the regime, and decide whether to give in to the fear or stand up for what they believe in.

Nonfiction

All of the sisters but Dede choose to stand up to Trujillo and join the rebellion. Their reward for it is to be murdered. Dede feels that she has given into her fear for a long time, but she too finds her courage.

She is the sister who is left, and is the one who tells the story of the Mariposas or Butterflies to the world, which also takes bravery. At its heart, In the Time of the Butterflies is a story about right and wrong. None of the characters disagrees that Rafael Trujillo 's regime is wrong, but they all must struggle with standing up to what he's doing and the risk it places upon them and their families.

Patria , Maria , and Marie Therese finally come to the recognition that they need to take a stand, and it eventually costs them their lives.

Dede stays out of the fight, but she stays strong and picks up the pieces when her sisters are killed. While each sister struggles and eventually does what she has to, we can see the very human cost of the rebellion and how it tries Then she meets four-year-old Frankie Sky, a little boy who bears an almost eerie resemblance to Simon. High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard.

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But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual. Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other. Clover Clover Hill is ten years old when her father, the principal of the local elementary school, marries a white woman, Sara Kate.

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Reading Guides & Lesson Plans

Passenger on the Pearl The page-turning, heart-wrenching true story of one young woman willing to risk her safety and even her life for a chance at freedom in the largest slave escape attempt in American history. Some of those earlier times jump around. What aspects of his dictatorship are unique?

What methods are e ffective?

In the Time of the Butterflies: Themes & Analysis

Think especially about gender roles, parental expectations, etc]. Remember, Antigone used the laws of the gods as a justification for her actions. The whole presentation should take between minutes, with a shared discussion of minutes following.

Ellison Education Lesson Plan #12066: Butterfly Metamorphosis Report

Beginning of the year.