Resilience Through Adversity Research Paper

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Dec 23rd, 2019


In his novel In the time of the Butterflies, Alvarez presents a recount of events that happened in the Dominican Republic in the 20th century. The story centers on Trujillo, a self-elected leader who is rigid, greedy and dictator. He leads the country into turmoil through brutality.

Four sisters join a revolution in opposition of his leadership. These four sisters face brutality as three of them are killed in pursuit of freedom and good leadership. One of the appealing characters this paper delves on is Minerva. Minerva best portrays a theme of resilience through adversity.


In the novel, Minerva is portrayed as an intelligent, beautiful and high minded woman. She is a third born in Mirabel family, a family of four sisters. She has a vision and a keen eye on studying law (Crystal 14). Her dream does not fade away amidst many challenges. She is committed to realize her dreams and goes to the law school in her adulthood.

Minerva encounters obstacles in her studies when her license is withheld by El Jefe and deters her from practicing law. While at school, she meets Monolo and marries him (Alvarez 3). They give birth to two children named Manolito and Minou. She is in the forefront in calling for justice and liberations of the country.

Portrayal of the theme, ‘resilience through adversity ’

Minerva portrays her character in different situations in her life through resilience. She encounters hardships but she manages to overcome them. One of the situations that depict Minerva’s resilience is when she is stopped by a police in a company of her sister as they traveled to Monte Cristi. She is courageous and faces the police and identifies herself as Minerva Mirabel to protect her little sister who was nervous at that moment.

Despite being a woman, Minerva shows resilience on how she participated in politics and revolutions in her country. She is not going to be held back by any forces.

She argues her fellow women to rise up and fight for their rights. In the first chapter, she shows frustration in the leadership of the country and demonstrates her passion and vision of the country. She says,” it as just what this country needs…. It’s about time we women had a voice in running our country’ (Alvarez 54).

Furthermore, Minerva’s involvement in government is cautioned by Patria who believes that politics is a dirty game and that she is risking her life by becoming vocal in her agitation of the rights of people. To demonstrate her commitment and resilience in ensuring that the people and women are liberated, she vehemently answers Patria, “it is a dirty business, you are right.

That is why we women should not get involved’ (Alvarez 276). This shows how Minerva is committed in ensuring that there is good leadership in her country. She is brave and nothing seems to hold her back.

She is also resilient in fighting for the equality of women. She says, ‘women had to come out of the dark ages” (Alvarez 286). By saying this, she aspires to fight and persuade women never to relent in their quest to demand for their rights and equality in the government.

As a woman, Minerva is principled and protects her moral standards. When they are invited to a party by the king-Trujillo, she refuses his advances and goes ahead to slap him. This is very risky to her as well as her family members because the leader has power to induce suffering to them. She is therefore resilient when she is faced with such circumstances (Crystal 15).

Furthermore, despite the state of governance, amidst dangers and difficult situations she gets into, Minerva participates in a political meeting that was illegal at Patria place. The meeting involved the four sisters and their husbands. In the meeting, they discussed various issues and plotted a revolt against the leader Trujillo.

Unfortunately, this meeting was known by the leader who organized for a road accident. Minerva escapes the death as the other three sisters succumb to death.

Minerva is therefore represented as an ambassador and a character that goes against her will to defend and fight for freedom and liberty amidst difficult circumstances.

The leadership of the country is corrupt and makes people suffer through brutality, rape and other atrocities that are not expected in a society. Minerva’s character is therefore manifested as a woman who goes against all odds to ensure that people and leaders respect the laws.

Minerva is ambitious, motivated and would not let anybody come into her ways. She works hard to achieve her objectives (Rodriguez 55). In the novel, there are situations in which she is discouraged by people who surround her, but that does not make her relinquish her visions. For instance, she is committed to pursue Law, which she manages to achieve in her adulthood.

She succeeds amidst many challenges within the environment. She therefore manages to overcome adversities by being resilient. She believes in what she stands up for. She goes to prison and that does not change her stand about her quest to liberate the people.


In conclusion, Minerva is a character who has been depicted in the novel as resilient. Various situations demonstrate how she goes through adversity because of her resilience. She beats all odds to achieve what she stands up for.

Works Cited

Alvarez, Julia. In the time of the butterflies. New York: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1994. Print.

Crystal, Parikh. Regular Revolutions: Feminist Travels in Julia Alvarez’s How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies: Journal of Transnational American Studies, 3(2011): 14-17. Print.

Rodriguez, Maria Cristina. Political Authority Figures as Distant Memories of a Forgotten Past: Julia Alvarez’s ‘In the Time of the Butterflies’ and ‘In the Name of Salomé’ and Cristina García’s ‘The Agüero Sisters’: Journal of Caribbean Literatures, 6. 2(2009): 55-63. Print.

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