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Unit 6: Writing Assignment

In the Time of Butterflies Essay
*This assignment is worth 30 points

After reading In the Time of Butterflies, you will be required to write a 5-paragraph essay. In this Major Writing Assignment, you will choose one of the essay prompts below. Be sure to organize your ideas around a thesis about the novel. This statement or thesis should be focused, with clear reasons supporting its conclusion. Be sure to also reference the novel in your writing. Once you have completed your essay, turn it in by clicking on the “Unit 6: Writing Assignment” link above.

Essay Prompts (choose one):

  1. Analyze the way Minerva treats Senor Mirabal’s mistress and her four daughters. Does Minerva’s kindness toward her half-sisters add to our understanding of her character? If so, how? Why does Minerva want to make education a possibility for them?
  2. Further examine the theme of courage in the novel. While Minerva Mirabal may be considered more outwardly brave, how is each sister courageous in her own way?
  3. The portions of the book written from Patria Mirabal’s point of view deal with religious themes and include many biblical allusions. How does Patria develop from an idealistic young Catholic girl to a woman who doubts? When does this change occur? Can it be argued that her faith is stronger in the end, even though she has some serious religious doubts?
  4. Why might Alvarez have chosen not to write from the point of view of any of the men? For this essay, explore two of the male characters–whether Senior Mirabal or the Mirabal sisters’ husbands–and discover how important they are to the underground rebellion.
  5. Expanding on the question of historical fiction, choose two scenes from the novel and research their historical veracity. Whether or not they are historically accurate, how effective is Alvarez in her quest to write “the truth according to character”?
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