Free «In the Time of the Butterflies» Essay Sample


Latin America in the modern has been characterized by certain patterns of life some of which have been shaped by the political environment of the past. This paper purposes to illustrate how characters in the book have been a representation of the modern patterns and ways of life in Latin America. It is clear that the past of Latin America was full of dictatorship leadership which made people to work hard for a better future that would be facilitated by liberation from oppression to a more democratic society.Dede and Patria are very significant characters in understanding the politics and modern patterns of life in Latin America. Their role and position have been featured in this discussion.

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Latin America has undergone a transition from a life full of oppression and deprivation to liberation and modernization with increased awareness on individual rights and freedoms.

Dede is one of the main characters in the book. She is indeed a representation of the past catholic movement in Latin America. The fact that she was a nun is enough to justify that she was a member of the Catholic Church and she therefore has had an important contribution towards the building of the political theme in this fiction tale of Latin America during the autocratic reign of Trujillo. The position of Dede in the book demonstrates the relevance the catholic movement has had on the lives of modern Latin America amidst all the suffering that they might be going through in their modern political regimes.

Dede seems to be a survivor in the book after the assassination of the other two characters. She is part of the butterfly that signifies independence from the injustices that were perpetrated against innocent people by the dictator. In the book an account of how Trujillo became the ruler in the Dominican Republic has been illustrated. The author has emphasized that there was a lot of controversies that surrounded the character of this one ruler. There has been mentioning of him being a rapist. This is in itself an injustice to the people since he is a threat to the three sisters who are staunch Christians as evidenced by their celibate nature. It shows that in Latin America bad character could not deter an individual from ascending to political power.

Religion is a very important aspect of culture in Latin America. Dede has been a fundamental character in bringing religious matters in the book. Through her the audience is treated to the reality of catholism in the modern world. Christianity since ancient times was a vehicle through which people were enlightened about their rights. Christianity is in line with the ideals of democracy and it is one of the reasons that people in the modern world achieve independence from the bondages of dictatorship in some countries.

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According to the interview in the book with Dede, there is evidence of a detrimental past. This is very important in the sense that there is some education from the past experiences of the characters. These experiences have been recalled and are significant in living in the present times and constructing a better future for the coming generations. In the modern Latin America, there is a lot of concern about the present and the future.

The people work hard so as to secure a better future for their children. This is a matter that has been well articulated through the character of Dede. Dede has been noted reminiscing about her past with her sisters in the struggle to end autocracy in Latin America. “What is that thing the gringos say, if you don't study your history you are going to repeat it?" (313). This is indicative of her great efforts in studying the past so as to come up with a better future. Through Dede, the readers witness a clear transition from a life full of terror and deprivation to a better life that is filled with modernity and prosperity. Indeed modernization and justice are things which exist in the modern Latin America.

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Patria is yet another character that has been used  in the book to advance the theme of liberation and modernization from the past that was full of the atrocities of dictatorship. She refuses to believe that god can allow his people to be undergoing all those problems that were being perpetrated by the dictatorship regime. “How could our loving, all-powerful Father allow us to suffer so? I looked up, challenging Him. And the two faces had merged!” (53) From such a statement, it is clear that Trujillo has had a psychological impact on Patria. This can be viewed in the light of the ruler dominating all spheres of life in the past and he ensured this by making objects that represented him in various places that were accessible to everybody.

 Patria in her status, seems to be an individual who is ignorant of the past . She chooses to forget it yet it should be recalled for the evils that have shaped the modern life of most of the people in Latin America. It is interesting in the way Patria is deceptive of the evil past yet it has affected her psychologically. From the book we are told that she even prays to the portrait of Trujillo for the release of her son Nelson who had been imprisoned. Even though she remembers the evils that were perpetrated against the three sisters by the dictator she seems to be conforming to the maintenance of the status quo in the society.

 Patria is a character who is not willing to recognize the Trujillo’s repeated acts of evil against innocent life, instead she chooses to compromise with him. In the light of this recognition she is a representation of a part of the modern Latin America that conforms to the status quo being maintained in the society amidst all the transformations and liberations that have shaped the current generation.

To people like her, there is still a brighter future whether the past is remembered or not. From her utterances, she seems to be of the opinion that it is better not to look back and forge ahead to a better future. The past does not seem to be bothering her as such. It is a fact that the ancient Dominican Republic was being led by a murderer who did not care about humanity and he was determined at all costs to ensure that information about his heinous acts could not be spread to other parts of the world. But through the characters of people like Dede the evil activities of the ruling class can be exposed. They do not allow the activities to continue even if it means putting their own lives at risk.

In conclusion, it is vital to maintain that Latin America has undergone a transition from a life full of oppression and deprivation to liberation and modernization with increased awareness on individual rights and freedoms.Dede and Patria have essentially played a critical role in illustrating this state of affairs by their role and position in the book. Through the two the book has underscored the important role the past has contributed towards the present and the building of a better future in Latin America.

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