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In the novel In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, the four Mirabal sisters were influenced by oppression. The impact oppression had on the sisters, led them through their stages of development in life. Maria Teresa, like her sisters went through three stages of status quo, change, and consequence. Maria Teresa's attitude toward life was carefree, fashionable and fun. The reader can tell she wasnt into the politics of that time, nor was she the first sister to discover the oppressed society she was living in. Unlike Minerva, her soul just wants to have fun (34).
Mate wrote everything that happened to her down into a diary. Now that she knew things she wasnt supposed to, she could be held accountable for anything she knew. When someone had been found out, everyone in the secret meeting group was told to bury and evidence of anything. Minerva told Mate to bury her diary. In saying her farewells to her Dear Little Book, she said, My soul has gotten deeper since I started writing in you (43). When she was still unaffiliated with the revolution, and her friends and family would talk about the regime or the president, Trujillo, the wrong way, It scared herewith guards around and anybody a spy (132).
Mate was easily worried about anything controversial. She did not yet involve herself in the revolution. She loved Trujillo and though of him as a god, until she was affected. As an innocent, little girl, Mate was unaware of what was going on in the environment around her. Government and politics did not appeal to her.
As she got older and began feeling the affects of the governments and everything else around her, Mate began a change in herself, a change in how she thought, spoke and acted. This change brought her from adolescence to womanhood. With all the stories going around about disappearances and killings of people disobeying the regime, Mate began hating the government and Trujillo. She was awarded Miss University at University in the Capital, which she and Minerva attended.
While writing her acceptance speech she was writing the unspoken, mandatory gratitude to Trujillo for being a wonderful leader, Minerva suggested she not over-do the mandatory gratitude, especially after the recent disappearance of a young man who wrote a book against the regime. Mate said, I get so upset thinking about him, I dont want to be queen of anything anymore (136). This upset was one of Mates first direct feelings of opposition toward Trujillo. Mates change can also be seen in her love life.
Mate was the one always looking for a boy; always looking for love. Now, a little older, Mate was living with Minerva and her husband Manolo. One late night, while everyone was asleep she had met a friend of Minerva's husband. His name was Leandro, but at first she knew him by his code name, Palomino. When he asked her if she was one of us, meaning revolutionaries, she thought, I didnt know what us he was talking about, but I knew right then and there, I wanted to be a part of whatever he was (142).
That is what began her revolutionary life. The next morning, Mate told Minerva she wanted to join the revolution. She could just her sister being overprotective, but she did not want o be babied anymore (142). She did join, and it changed who she was. She said, My true identity is now Mariposa (# 2) 143. Minerva was Mariposa # (1).
She spent more and more time with Leandro. She knew she loved him deeply, and he loved her just the same. This love that she cherished, she said, she would never be able to give upto some higher ideal the way she felt Minerva and Manolo would each other if they had to make the supreme sacrifice (147). Now that she obtained it Mate felt that the love she longed for since childhood, was too big a sacrifice. She was a full-blown supporter of the revolution, but she would rather sacrifice her freedom than her love. The changes in Maria Teresa's life molded the person she became.
Whether the changes were in regard to feelings about the government, or her innermost feelings about love, they came with consequences. These consequences were seen in her everyday life. They changed how she held herself and her overall outlook on things. After being in jail for 70 days, along with Minerva and their husbands, for being a revolutionary, she began to lose courage and wallow in dark thoughts (236). Her experience in jail helped her grow as a person. She spoke of a love among the women in her jail cell.
And how there, there was something deeper, like an invisible needle stitching them together into the glorious, free nation they were becoming (239). She was jailed with prostitutes and murderers and other people of the sort, but in that cell, they were just woman. Mate was able to look past wrong doings and accusations, and become one with her cell mates, because then and there, they were her family. When they were getting ready to be released from jail Mate was sad to be leaving because the jail has become her home and these girls were like her sisters. She couldnt imagine the lovely privacy without them (153). Maria Teresa Mirabal was influenced by the oppression of the Trujillo regime.
As a child, she was oblivious to the world around her. She knew nothing of oppression and revolution, but was well learned in boys and clothes and having fun. As she grew older she became aware of things around her, specifically, the oppression of the Dominican people by the regime. Following in the footsteps of her older sister Minerva, Mate entered into the world of government opposition and revolution. Maria Teresa finds the love of her life, Leandro, who was a revolutionary, and right then and there decided to join him and her sister in the fight for freedom. Together, they fought, and struggled, and were put in jail.
And though she was strong in her beliefs and support of the revolution, she would not sacrifice her love for him. As a result of her being jailed, she grew as a person. She learned to look at a person from the inside, rather than judge them because of what they appeared to be on the outside. She grew from a little girl obsessed with fashion, into a young woman coming into the world and seeing it for what it truly is, and finally, into a woman who knew what is was to struggle for a greater good, who knew what is was to love with no bounds, who knew what it was to fight for the freedom of herself and her country. Maria Teresa changed dramatically from child to adult. Along the way the people who crossed her path influenced and strengthened her to continue in her fight for freedom.
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Research essay sample on Fight For Freedom Maria Teresa Mate