Study Guide

In the Time of the Butterflies Society and Class

By Alvarez, Julia

Society and Class

The central family in In the Time of the Butterflies is a farming family that has recently come into money. This means they must behave in new ways in order to fit into their new class. Education, social events, and behaviors must all be updated so that their community accepts them.

All of this is reinforced even more than usual by the authoritarian president's regime, which makes sure that everyone stays in line… or else they'll pay with their lives.

Questions About Society and Class

  1. What is the girls' mother's motivation for sending them to school?
  2. Which of the sisters seems to be the most concerned with social class?
  3. Why do the family's neighbors turn against them towards the end of the novel?
  4. What happened to Sinita's family that made them fall from upper class to lower?

Chew on This

Trujillo's regime accentuates the unjust differences that are already inherent in society.

If the Mirabal family were poor, they would have gone unnoticed by Trujillo.

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