Study Guide

In the Time of the Butterflies And on the third day He rose again…

By Alvarez, Julia

And on the third day He rose again…

Throughout Chapter 10, Patria's account of January to March 1960, she repeats the refrain "And on the third day He rose again…" She is recounting the time that she spent separated from her husband, son, and sisters while they were in prison, and compares herself to Jesus Christ being crucified, dying, and rising again three days later.

She says that the first day was the hardest but that she slept for a long time. When she wakes up, she repeats the statement of her faith in Jesus and gets to work setting up housekeeping at her mother's house (her own home was burned to the ground).

When she does lose it, though, screaming at God that she had been good, she has to be reminded of her faith. Dedé comforts her, opening the Bible at random and reading out loud whatever verse they landed on. This slow recovery is like a resurrection for Patria.

After a while she learns that her sisters and the men are on the lists of acknowledged prisoners, which is very good news. She repeats:

And on the third day He rose again.
We were already working on the third week. Still, there were moments, like I said—resurrection gathering speed.
(3.10.58-59)

Patria likens herself to Jesus Christ: she feels as if she is dead and waiting to come back to life. Her separation from her son is like a death to her, and she must have faith in God that someday she will come back to life… even if it takes a bit longer than three days.

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