Julia Álvarez Writing Styles in In the Time of the Butterflies

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Setting

In the Time of the Butterflies is set in the Dominican Republic. The action takes place between 1938 and 1994, although many of these years are not depicted in the novel. This time period is characterized by Rafael Trujillo's authoritarian rule, which dominates both the country and, quite frequently, people's lives. The Dominican Republic is a largely Catholic country with a very influential Church. The country is also largely patriarchal, with the men holding positions of authority and women most often expected to forego individual careers, although this code is not as rigid as in the past. Trujillo's prisons also are featured prominently in the novel, and Alvarez effectively contrasts their harshness with the general lushness of the country's fertile regions.

Historical Fiction

By creating fictional characters and situations out of historical people and events, Alvarez raises questions about the role of the novel in understanding the past. Does representing...

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This section contains 990 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the In the Time of the Butterflies Study Guide
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In the Time of the Butterflies from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.