In the Time of the Butterflies
Part II: Chapter 5-8
- Chapter 5
Even though everyone thinks that all the problems started when Minerva slapped Trujillo at the dance party, the problem actually starts far before. The entire problem starts when the sisters first meet Lio Morales.
Dede meets Lio when she is working at her father’s shop with Minerva. They are planning to go to Tio Pepe’s to play volleyball. Mario comes to the shop and introduces Lio Morales to them. A strong bond is created between Lio and Minerva.
A few days later, they were playing volleyball. Jaimito becomes extremely mad when he finds out from Dede accidentally that Lio is hiding with Minerva behind the hedges. The game ends awkwardly.
Minerva’s parents forbid Minerva to meet Lio when Maria Teresa accidentally reads out an article claiming that the people including Lio Morales are “communists.” However, they continue to meet.
One day, Jaimito, Minerva, and Dede gather at the sisters’ house. Dede asks Minerva whether she is going to go along with Lio who is exile. Minerva goes out to find Lio, and Jaimito, and Dede begins to have their own romantic time. They go to her father’s car and kiss. Jaimito finally proposes to Dede and hears a voice from the backseat. They find out that the voice comes from Lio who was hiding in the backseat. Lio asks Dede to deliver his letter to Minerva.
Minerva comes back home saying she could not find Lio anywhere. When Dede arrives at home, she reads the letter and decides not to deliver the letter just to protect Minerva.
What do you want, Minerva Mirabal? Summer
When she is out for a drive, she notices that her father’s car is always parked in front of the same house and soon realizes that she has four half-sisters who have “Mirabal eyes.”
She is sick because Lio is not with her. One day, she goes to her father’s room and finds several letters in his pocket. There were the letters from Lio to Minerva. She noticed that he has been taking away the letters from her just to separate them. She goes to the house where she saw his car and asks several questions. At night when he comes back, he calls her to the garden and slaps her.
Not only the letters from Lio, he finds the letter from Trujillo, inviting her to his private party. Her mother worrying about her safety insists that the other sisters have to go along with Minerva, whom Trujillo specifically requires to come. When Minerva is driving to get her father to a doctor’s appointment, she meets Carmen, her father’s other wife, and her half-sisters.
Discovery Day Dance, October 12
The Mirabals arrive at the party and sit in the reserved seat. They are an hour late, but hopefully, Trujillo is late, too. Minerva has to sit next to Trujillo. First, she is entertained by Manuel de Moya, the secretary. He asks her to dance with him, but Minerva refuses, saying that she has a headache. However, she eventually dances with him. After the dance, Trujillo is her partner. Trujillo says he wants to “conquer” her, and she replies that she is not for conquest. She says that she wants to go to the college to become a lawyer. He opposes by saying that colleges are not for women. He defines college as where the “communists and agitators” go. Accidentally, Minerva mentions Lio but pretends she doesn’t know him. He comes closer and closer toward Minerva, and she slaps him.
The Mirabals immediately ran out, and she realizes that she has left her purse and that she has Lio’s letter inside it.
The Mirabals leave the party before Trujillo leaves, which is unlawful in the Dominican Republic under Trujillo. Some governors came to their house trying to take Enrique Mirabal and Minerva for questioning. Her father is captured and tells Minerva to go to Carmen with some money. She cannot not find the house in the rain but meets Magarita, the daughter of Carmen.
Later, Minerva and her mother go to the capital to ask for her father's release. Minerva is questioned. The governors ask Minerva whether she lied to Trujillo that she does not know Lio. She answers that it is true that she lied but that it is because she might displease him. Don Manuel implies that she has to sleep with Trujillo. She meets Trujillo and sees dice on his desk. She suggests that if she wins at dice, she would attend the college, but if he wins, she would sleep with him. He says yes, and Minerva wins annoying him. Her father is finally released.
Maria Teresa begins her new diary that Minerva gave her for a present. The sisters’ father is passed away. All the sisters see Carmen and his four daughters at his funeral. One day, she dreams about her wedding dress worn in such a coffin. Another day, she dreams about Manolo in the coffin. The other day still, she dreams about Minerva’s friend also in a coffin.
She has a crush on Raul and Berto, her cousins. On January 1st, she kisses Berto, and kisses Raul after 7 days. She asks her Fela to choose between Raul and Berto since she cannot decide with whom she has to fall in love. Meanwhile, Minerva also falls in love with Manolo who is already engaged to another girl. Maria Teresa begins to live with Dede, Jaimito, and their sons, Jaime Enrique and Jaime Rafael, in San Francisco. However, their ice cream business there is not successful.
After her graduation, Tia Flor asks that she has to choose between her two sons, Raul and Berto. She replies that she has no interest in either of them. Also, Mirabals’ yardboy, Prieto, betrays them by reporting to Security everything they have done, but they cannot not fire him. She meets Minerva and Manolo’s friend who appeared in her dream. He tries to kiss her.
Minerva is pregnant and married to Manolo. However, she finds that he is cheating on her. They move to Monte Cristi. Trujillo forbids Minerva to practice law even with her diploma. Both Minverva and Maria Teresa joins in an organization which is against Trujillo.
This chapter focuses on Patria and how she has gotten involved with the revolution. We also learn more about her strong faith and how it impacts her decisions in life. This chapter provides insight on her marriage and her children and we see how much she loves and cares for them. Her lifestyle is very different from her sisters and she takes pride in that. However due to influences from the church, her family, and more she feels the need to join them and work towards freedom.
- What is Lio's letter to Minerva about? Why does Dede burn it?
- Why do you think Trujillo does not allow Minerva to receive her diploma?
- What does Maria Teresa's dream mean? Could it be foreshadowing something?
- What was Patrito’s reaction when he is told that the revolutionaries are meeting in his backyard? How does Patria persuades her husband?
- Who is Padre de Jesus Lopez and how does he affect the decisions of the Mirabal sisters?
- What impacts Patria’s decision of joining an organization to overthrow Trujillo?