Study Guide

In the Time of the Butterflies Courage

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It's easy to be courageous when your biggest foe is, say, the vice principal or your overbearing boss. But when your foe is literally the most terrifying dictator in the hemisphere, you better have more than a spit wad's worth of courage in your back pocket.

The Mirabal sisters, the protagonists of In the Time of the Butterflies, are unlikely heroines in a regime that treats women like disposable decorations and disappears more people than a magician. The courage portrayed in the novel is related to different types of strength and motivation: religious faith, political idealism, family and romantic ties.

Questions About Courage

  1. Who is the most courageous character, in your opinion? Why?
  2. Do you think that the girls really understand the risks they are taking?
  3. When the three sisters go to Puerto Plata are they being courageous or foolish?

Chew on This

The sisters aren't really courageous; they are actually just blind to the risks they are taking.

The sisters know exactly what they are doing and what they are risking; they are courageous and overcome their fears.

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