In the Time of the Butterflies: Shifting Point of View

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In the Time of the Butterflies Essay: Effect of a Shifting Point of View The changing point of view helps reveal character development and analysis by showing how the characters themselves assess the situation. While Maria, Patria, and Minerva’s chapters are written in first person, Dedé’s chapters are written in third person to give the reader both types of point of views. As the book progresses, the reader gradually learns more and more about each individual character. As you alternate the point of views, you gain more perspective on the issues at hand. While the sister will have different opinions on situations, seeing these personalized viewpoints help the reader to make a connection to all the sisters and furthermore, the entire book. Dedé's third-person view gives the reader a feeling that the story revolves around her, and that she acts as a sort of narrator for the book. In the first chapter, her words as well as the true narration from Alvarez set up foreshadowing for the entire plot. It makes it very easy for the reader to get “lost in (Dedé’s) memories (…) searching for the answers” (Alvarez 5) just like she does. The reader learns about how Dede, the sister who survived, has to deal with many interviews even after years that her sisters have died. She has the process studied down to the point. She knows just how to arrange the house, and what time to do a tour and ask questions. Even giving them the right amount of emotions to the questions, making the reporter feel like they have really dug up something. The journal-style of Maria's chapters could be reflected to how Alvarez felt as a child growing up in the Dominican Republic during such a time. Reading how a developing child interprets and deals with the situation offers a different view from her older and wiser counterparts. She also includes drawings, dates, pictures, and more trivial and

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