Character Analysis: Dedé

Ashlyn Singer and Megan Allen

Overview

Dedé Mirabal is the second oldest of the Mirabal sisters, and was the only one not killed by Trujillo's men. Contrasting to the active role that her sisters took in the fight against Trujillo, she didn't work for the uprising, although, she did support their beliefs. The setting for most of the book takes place when she's married to Jamito, but they are later divorced. She has three kids, and is an actual person, not just a character. She raised the children of her sisters after their death, and also opened up a museum dedicated to their lives and accomplishments, "The Museo de Las Hermanas Mirabales".

Quote #1

"So the woman had not read any of the articles of biographies around. Dede is relieved. This means they can spend the time talking about the simple facts that give Dede the illusion that hers was just an ordinary family, too- birthdays and weddings and new babies, the peaks that graph normality. (Alvarez 38)"

This shows that Dede doesn't like talking about the details of her family and she still sees them as normal, even through everything that happened to them.

Quote #2

"Ay how she wished she could be that grand and brave. But she could not be. She had always been one to number the stars. (Alvarez 242)"

This depicts Dede as a quiet and soft spoken person by explaining how she wanted to be "grand and brave" but, because of her nature, she wouldn't be able to do that.

Quote #3

"Usually, Dede cannot bear such sloppiness. But today she is impatient to be done so they can close up and drive over to Tio Pepe's where the young people have been gathering to play volleyball. (Alvarez 206)"

Dede is anxious to get to play volleyball, which shows us that she is impatient and also doesn't care for un-organization.

Quote #4

"And I see them all there in my memory, as still as statues, Mama and Papa, and Minerva and Mate and Patria, and I'm thinking something is missing now. And I count them all twice before I realize- it's me, Dede, it's me, the one who survived to tell the story. (Alvarez 948)"

This shows insight into how Dede pictures her family. She can picture them all together but she feels separated since she was the only one left that can tell the family's story.

Quote #5

"A chill goes through her, for she feels it in her bones, the future is now the beginning. By the time it is over, it will be the past, and she doesn't want to be the only one left to tell their story. (Alvarez 51)"

This shows the caring side of Dede, and foreshadows to the final outcome of the family, that Dede is the last one left, showing that Dede is worried about her family's future.
Butterflies - The Mirabal Sisters

Questions

1. How does Dede's character impact the overall storyline?

2. What is the significance of Dede's survival?

3. How does Dede's character relate to characters from other books?

4. How does Dede exemplify reactions to oppression/control from the government?

5. How do family and culture impact everyday life for Dede, as well as the real world?

Works Cited

Alvarez, Julia. In the time of the butterflies. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Books of

Chapel Hill, 1994. Print.

"Mirabal Sisters of the Dominican Republic." The Real Dominican Republic. Real DR, n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2013. <www.therealdr.com/dominican-republic-history/mirabal-sisters-of-the-dominican-republic.html>.