Best Example of Loyalty to Justice from the Novel In The Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

Best Example of Loyalty to Justice

Minerva Mirabel is the definition of being loyal to a cause. In the novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez, Minerva Mirabel stays loyal to justice. Minerva’s pursuit of justice leads to her involved in the revolution. Aside from being politically active, another way to fight for justice is to do it by being involved in the legal system. Minerva aspires to become an attorney. Throughout the novel, Minerva experiences many situations where she takes action because justice is not present. Since Minerva is consistent on her stance of justice, the revolution eventually overthrows Trujillo.

Minerva Mirabel’s view on Trujillo stays consistent because she did not assume Trujillo was a bad person until she had evidence. Minerva first heard the negatives of Trujillo at boarding school. Minerva describes that: “’it was as if I had just heard Jesus had a slapped a baby or Our Blessed Mother had not conceived Him the Immaculate Conception way.’ That can’t be true” (In the Time of the Butterflies,17). Minerva now has information about Trujillo and is able to make her own view. Before this, she only heard the positives of Trujillo. Now she heard both sides and was able to form a fair decision. The information she hears about Trujillo sparks her political involvement. Minerva wants justice for everyone. Part of justice is being treated fairly and having freedom. Minerva starts to sneak out of school. Minerva is questioned by her little sister, Maria Teresa, why she is sneaking out. Maria Teresa was told by Minerva that “she wanted me to grow up in a free country” (39). It is not just for people to live in a fascist country. Everyone deserves freedom. Minerva’s actions are a result of her fighting for justice.

Minerva continues to stay loyal to her sense of justice in the novel through the aspect of her education. Minerva’s dream is to go to law school. Minerva seizes her chance to go to law school when she is with Trujillo, and she makes a wager with him. Minerva says “I decide to speak up for what I do want” (114). Minerva knows the dice are weighted. As a result of her knowledge of the dice, Minerva wins the wager. By making this wager, Minerva shows how much she values her education because she is willing to give herself up in order for it. It does not matter how much confidence Minerva had that she would win, a person that is willing to allow another to violate them must be truly dedicated to a cause. Minerva describes the importance and says what she discussed with Trujillo: “my dream of going to law school” (115). Chasing her dream of going to law school shows the importance of justice to her because the purpose of going to law school for her was to become an attorney so that she can fight for justice. Minerva’s incident with Trujillo involving the dice also foreshadows Minerva’s further political action. Minerva wins the wager, however, Trujillo does not follow through and says “we either both get our wishes or we call it even, for now” (115). In response to Trujillo, Minerva says “’Even’, I say looking him in the eye, ‘for now’” (115). The ‘for now’ foreshadows Minerva’s political involvement in the novel moving forward because in the future it is implied things will not be even due to Minerva’s plans proceeding. Minerva does proceed with her political action to make things not even between her and Trujillo by doing things such as starting an underground revolution, creating bombs, and continuing her pursuit of justice.

Minerva’s loyalty to justice not only affected her actions, but also her love life. People want to be with others that have similar interests to them. Minerva is no different. Minerva seeks the affection of a man named Lio. Lio shares the same passion for justice that Minerva does. After Lio is forced to go away Dede says that “Lio presented a real opportunity to fight against the regime. I think, after him, Minerva was never the same” (66). Lio’s influence on Minerva was that he shared the same passion as her; justice. Minerva is unable to get over Lio and still communicates with him later in the novel. Dede asks Minerva: “what had become of him” (181)? Minerva’s response is that he “was alive and kicking” (181). People usually over time let friends go that do not have an impact on them. Minerva is so heavily influenced by Lio that she does not let him go. The shared passion by Lio and Minerva for justice influences Minerva’s actions and her love life.

Minerva shows once again her loyalty to justice when she makes a decision that stays consistent with her views throughout the novel. Minerva decides to stay in prison, rather than go be with her family. Dede says that Minerva “acted unconcerned about her safety. She could not desert the cause” (199). The cause is rebelling against Trujillo. Minerva is so committed that she is willing to stay in prison. As it is said earlier in the essay, loyalty is about commitment. Minerva’s actions of staying in prison for the cause keep this statement true. If a person is willing to go to jail for a cause then they are for really dedicated for it. Most people just have a stance on a conflict. These people will side one way or the other, but they are not willing to go to prison. After that, there is a small crowd that is truly loyal to the cause and themselves. Minerva is one of the few people that are loyal to a cause because she is willing to do and risk anything for the cause.

Minerva’s loyalty to justice ends up making an impact on the revolution. After all her leadership and protests, Trujillo is eventually overthrown and killed. This victory came at a cost for Minerva though. Minerva had to give up her life. Minerva shows that being dedicated and active towards a cause, by any means necessarily, the desired outcome can occur.