Lives of Two Women Depicted in Separate Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

lives of two women depicted in separate books. The writer explores the way they suffered as well the struggles they went through during their lives. The writer uses each book to show how much of a struggle life can be as one ages through their life. There were two sources used to complete this paper.

Authors of literature who want to become successful use their talents to show the reader a story. Many times the element that makes a book a classic is the fact that the human element become involved therefore the reader gets attached to the story and the characters that are in the story.

In the Time Of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez and Searching for Life: The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina by Rita Arditti the authors draw the readers in until they become attached to the ladies of the stories. Any time an author can get a reader to care about the protagonist on an emotional level it is a coup for the author. The authors of these books do an excellent job of getting the reader attached to the lives and struggles of the ladies in these stories though they are each different.

The commonalty of the stories is the fact that the protagonists have a serious life filled with struggles because of their presidents. The struggle of one person against something as strong and powerful as a president is a story that can draw out the most maternal and paternal instincts in the most stoic reader.

The Time of the Butterflies is based on the true story of three sisters. The Mirabel sisters are the focus of the story but it is actually just a catalyst for the underpinning of the author's true meaning and message. The sisters were murdered in 1960. The reason for their murder is the foundational basis for the book as they were said to have been plotting to over through the government. The underground group that they supported and belonged to was working to plan the successful ousting of the then current regime and this book provides a step-by-step undertaking of exploring not only the accusation but also the government's reaction to the sisters and their activities.

The story is a strongly written one because it takes the reader inside the life of the sisters. The writer uses artistic license as she explores what she believed to be the teen years of the sisters. This gave them reality and put a face on their younger life so the reader becomes attached to them before hand.

One of the most successful aspects of the way this particular story is told is the tension that mounts while the sisters (butterflies) await their death. The reader is taken on the journey of their carefree lives as youngsters and then introduced to their adult lives which turn out to be anything but carefree and innocent.

The novel begins from the view point of the fourth sister who was not murdered because she had no desire to risk her life or the life of her husband by participating in the government overthrow plot.

There are so many different aspects of this story that the author sometimes has a difficult time keeping the reader on a straight path toward the understanding of the events as they unfolded.

The author works to present the lives of the sisters in such a manner that they will look sympathetic to the reader. Once the reader comes to view the sisters as human beings it is not hard to understand why the reader then becomes saddened and angered at the planned murder of the sisters. The fact that they were murdered while they were on their way home from visiting their jailed husbands makes it even less palatable to the reader.

In the telling of this story each of the sisters is depicted with her individual personality. Minerva is the sister who was outspoken and blunt. She was seen as the political ringleader of the family. Minerva is portrayed in the book as the one who is most emotionally committed to the plot to overthrow the government. The sister name Patricia however is equally emotionally strong especially where her religious faith is concerned.

Once she sees some of the government atrocities for herself she lets go of her commitment to her faith and instead decides to join her sisters in the plot to overthrow that government.

The baby sister, Maria Teresa becomes loyal to the cause as well. As the story unfolds the reader cannot help but wonder if her loyalty and commitment to the plot is not triggered because of her admiration and loyalty to big sister Minerva.

One of the best aspects of this book is the fact that it shows the reader what it was like to live in prison during this era. The journals and diaries of Teresa paint a picture of the prison and the life the sisters were forced to endure before their ultimate murder.

The three sisters became unsung heroes to those who sided with the desire to undue the government. The sisters are seen as martyrs by many and seen as the enemy by very few.

One thing that makes this book different than the second book is the fact that the author does not get stuck in a third person narrative to tell the story. Instead the author tells the story from the standpoint of the three sisters as well as the fourth sister.

One of the most amazing things about the way this book is written is that the author so closely captures the "voice" of each sister there is no need to otherwise identify who is now speaking from their heart. The voices are so separated by the author's talent that the reader can tell when the viewpoint changes because the voice changes and it is from a different sister's viewpoint that the story is continuing. This is much different than the narrative and chronological method used for Searching for Life: The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina by Rita Arditti. While Arditti differs in her method by using chronology for the telling of the story it is still different because she uses reverse chronology instead of the standard forward chronology.

The plot shifts backward and forward which at times can make it difficult to understand and follow though the same can be said for the first book if a reader is not able to get a handle on the different voices of the sisters.

The Time of Butterflies works to uncover and share a family legacy that along the way answers questions about God and love and faith, while the book by Rita is much more hard hitting and less romantic in its approach.

In the Butterfly story it is interesting the way the author portrays the husband of the one sister who does not join the revolution does not because of her dominating husband. The sister ends up raising the children of her three murdered sisters which in and of itself causes her to age prematurely according to the way the story unfolds.

The writer of the book doesn't take sides and does not show partiality for any of their viewpoints but instead lays it out in a fashion in which the reader can make their own decision. While the writer does not openly take sides the writer does present the sisters in a light that presents them as sympathetic and the reader cannot help but become attached to them and their plight.

Each of the sisters' life's events provides the reader with the understanding of how they changed their viewpoints. Patricia loses her third child and then eventually sees…

Sources Used in Document:


The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina by Rita Arditti.

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.Plume; Reprint edition (August 1995)

The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina by Rita Arditti.

Cite This Term Paper:

"Lives Of Two Women Depicted In Separate" (2003, May 07) Retrieved January 17, 2020, from

"Lives Of Two Women Depicted In Separate" 07 May 2003. Web.17 January. 2020. <>

"Lives Of Two Women Depicted In Separate", 07 May 2003, Accessed.17 January. 2020,