Talking About Religion in "In the Time of Butterflies" by Julia Alvarez

Essay by wilsonleeHigh School, 12th grade March 2007

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The book "In the Time of the Butterflies" is written by Julia Alvarez. This text talks about how religion affects society. One main theme in the novel is to inform the reader how a dictatorship terrorizes the people of the Dominican Republic, but still shows religion is so important to the people of the country that the church can help fight the revolution.

Patria, one of the main characters of the novel, is the oldest sister. She is religious, and this helps her fight the revolution. Patria believes in God, she has her faith. After her son decides to fight the revolution, she goes to the church and prays. The SIM, which is the secret police of Trujillo's government, is searching Maria Teresa and Minerva and those revolutionaries. She knows that there are priests around the church too. And they will report you to the SIM if you spoke against the regime.

But she still hasn't given up. And after the explosion in the church, which is made by the SIM, the church changes its position. It makes Petria realizes that it is not enough to just pray, she begins to fight. As long she has her beliefs, she open her heart and God will be there. Religion is extraordinary powerful tool for Patria to achieve her goals.

On the other hand, because of the dictatorship, the church is corrupt. Even priests know there are problems, such as Padre de Jesus. When Patria comes to the church and asks him for help, he faces Patria and says: "We must wait, we must pray, I, too, am lost so that I can not show you the way." (Page 154) It is the first time that the church admits confusion. But if they do or say...