In the Time of the Butterflies

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The Rabbits Symbol Icon
At the beginning of Minerva’s first narration she describes how she has felt caged her whole life, and she compares herself to the rabbits that her family keeps in pens. One day she opens the cage door for a female rabbit, but the rabbit doesn’t want to leave her pen. Minerva then declares that she is not like the rabbits, as she desires freedom no matter what. In this way the rabbits represent Minerva – trapped by her father’s overprotectiveness as a child, and then trapped by the rules and fear of the Trujillo police state. The rabbits also represent the populace of the Dominican Republic. As the rabbits are afraid to leave their comfortable pens, so the majority of Dominicans go along with the Trujillo regime, afraid for their own safety if they should try to escape their “cage.”
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The Rabbits Symbol Timeline in In the Time of the Butterflies

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Rabbits appears in In the Time of the Butterflies. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Minerva, 1938, 1941, 1944
Dictatorship Theme Icon
Freedom and Imprisonment Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Courage vs. Cowardice Theme Icon
...sisters always had to ask him permission for everything. Minerva used to watch the family’s rabbits in their pens and feel that she was like them. One day she tried to... (full context)