Essay on In the Time of the Butterflies

“As Americans, we want peace — we work and sacrifice for peace. But there can be no peace if our security depends on the will and whims of a ruthless and aggressive dictator. I’m not willing to stake one American life on trusting Saddam Hussein.” -George W. Bush. President Bush promised America that he would bring down Saddam Hussein no matter what it took. But why? Why would the president make such an imposing promise? In order to ensure the safety of his people (the Americans) such terrorists must be brought down. President Bush was willing to sacrifice the lives of many heroic soldiers to halt terrorism from afflicting this country. Are the lives of these young brave soldiers worth the sacrifice that is needed to bring change into the corrupt government of Iraq? Sacrifice becomes necessary to achieve social change when there is loss of personal freedoms, abuse of power, and physical abuse. This is demonstrated by the revolutions in Nicaragua and Haiti as well as the novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez.When people are being severely oppressed and they no longer have any freedom, they are likely to sacrifice themselves in the hope of achieving justice. In most nations, people have the freedom to act in their own will. For example, in the United States people are protected by the constitution, which lists the many fair rights of the people. In it, includes freedom of speech, the freedom to press, the freedom to action, freedom of privacy, and almost the freedom to do anything. If these rights are taken away, people will become irate, and eventually they will do anything to get their rights back. In the novel In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez tells the story of Dominican Republicans who have lost their freedoms. Rafael Trujillo, dictator of the country creates a secret police called the SIM, which he uses to protect the government. These secret police go undercover during their job of bringing in any information to the government about people who rebel, or are against Trujillo. Those who are reported will be punished. “ ‘People who opened their big mouths didn’t live very long.’ Sinita said. ‘Like my uncles I told you about. Then two more uncles, and then my father.’ Sinita began crying again. ‘This summer, they killed my brother.’ ” (Pg 18) Sinita, a friend of Minerva’s from Inmaculada Concepcion loses almost all the mal…

… body jumped with exquisite pain.” (Pg 255) Because Leandro cannot stand seeing Maria Teresa go through so much suffering, he gives them the information they need. The way Trujillo treats those who are against him is cruel and low. How can someone electrocute a woman who does nothing wrong except speaking for what she believes in? There are many others who suffer physical abuse from Trujillo and the government throughout the novel. This cruel leader’s brutal actions lead the Mirabal sisters to join the revolution. The people of Dominican Republic want to end the tyranny they suffer from Trujillo, and live under a free nation.Sacrifice becomes necessary to achieve social change when there is loss of personal freedoms, abuse of power, and physical abuse. Even though, the four Maribal sisters were all part of the revolution, Dede was the only one who survived. Dede’s survival symbolizes that the sacrifices they made, were worth it. As President George Bush promised, Saddam Hussein was brought down even though many lives of American soldiers were sacrificed. In order to get what you want or what you believe in, you must fight for it, and sometimes that even means making sacrifices.