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In the time of the butterflies: Oppression

Uploaded by Bambina on Feb 20, 2002

In the book, “In the time of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez, examples of oppression takes place within the Mirabal sister’s lives. Censorship, search and seizure, and fear of life and liberty are three examples of such oppression.

Censorship prevented the citizens to express their feelings and opinions about their political system. The regime of the Dominican Republic tried very hard to keep the people from speaking their minds or from disobeying its dictator. For instance, Patria, who was a religiously devoted individual tried to convince Minerva, her younger sister, to attend church, but Minerva told her that a friend said that even the “Priests were on a double pay roll” (52). This suggested that even the priests were being paid to spy on and then report suspicious or guilty people who were planning to go against the regime. The people were at risk of being spied on during a confession. Oppression through censorship also made people question that they could trust. Maria Teresa explained that “the yard boy, Prieto”, was betraying her family by “reporting everything he hears in the Mirabal household down at security for a bottle of rum and a couple of pesos”. The family was then hesitant to speak in their own house and they “can’t fire him or that would look like” they “have something to hide” (129). Even while the family had gathered in the front yard to tell stories, when Minerva and Papa began discussing Trujillo and women in the government, “they all fall silent. Suddenly the dark fills with spies who are paid to hear things and report them down at security” (10). The family always felt as though spies were around to report them, and they were at risk of speaking anything too suspicious. Through their worrying, they had learned to keep silent whether they had rebellious feelings or not.

In the United States, the forth amendment protects and secures citizens from search and seizure. This means, that no person should have their home searched, or be seized without a warrant. The Dominican Republic’s regime at this time seized people in the streets, in their homes, and searched through their homes without explanation or legal documents that give them permission to do so. Galindez, known for his rebellious acts, was writing a book about the regime. Trujillo’s workers tried to bribe Galindez and get the book, to make sure his word never got...

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Uploaded by:   Bambina

Date:   02/20/2002

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (894 words)

Views:   4649

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