Pre- Reading Novel Study

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Pre- Reading Novel Study by Mind Map: Pre- Reading Novel Study

1. Dominican Republic

1.1. Second largest country in the caribbean

1.2. Government: Representative Democracy

1.3. Discover by Christopher Columbus in 1492

1.4. President Buenaventura Báez planned on having the Dominican Republic annexed in 1870, but the U.S. Refused

1.5. Was dictated in 1916 by Ulíses Heureaux

1.6. Dislikes Haiti for the poverty and immigration.


2. Haiti

2.1. The third largest country in the Caribbean.

2.2. Occupies the western third of Hispaniola

2.3. About the size of Maryland.

2.4. Two-thirds mountainous.

2.5. Explored by Christopher Columbus on december 6, 1492.

2.6. Known for producing sugar cane and depending on slaves.

2.7. Became a French colony in 1697


3. Butterfly Image

3.1. jj

3.2. Rights side:

3.3. Before we were free

3.3.1. referring to the time before they were free

3.4. -Anita

3.5. Dignity

3.6. Freedom

3.7. Unforgettable butterflies

3.7.1. The Mirabal sisters were referred as "the butterflies"

3.8. Maria Teresa

3.9. Passion

3.10. On the same page 2005

3.11. Minerva

3.12. Right side

3.13. In the time of the butterflies

3.13.1. During the time of Rafael Trujillo's dictatorship

3.14. Julia Alvarez

3.15. Dede

3.16. Ajusticiamiento

3.16.1. "to execute"

3.17. Persecution

3.18. Inolvidable Mariposas

3.18.1. Unfogettable butterflies

3.19. Patria

3.20. 1125 (November 25th)


4. Mirabel sisters

4.1. were assasinated on nov 25

4.2. were two activists

4.3. Minerva, Maria Teresa, Dede, and Patria

4.4. gave their lives to end the 1950 dominican republic dictatorshiop

4.5. Were pushed to do what they did because of the Trujillato "beauty scouts" scouts that went out looking for young woman for him to kidnap, romance, rape, etc.

4.6. the mission invited one of the mirable girls to come to his "party"

4.7. maria realized his intentions and declined, he pushed it and she slapped him in the face.

4.8. Trujillo tried to ruin Maria and her familie's life, turning their entire family into activists.

4.9. They willingly gave their life to end trujillos

4.10. were beaten to death from orders of rafael

4.11. they were known as "the butterflies" or Las mariposas (their code name )

4.12. Domestic violence wasn't a crime in Latin America. until 1997

4.13. The soldiers were called the sim(rafael's soldiers/ people) they were the ones that killed the three sisters

4.14. 3 mirabel sisters died on the 25th

4.15. the one that survived dies in 2014

4.16. The Mirabal Sisters

5. Vocabulary words

5.1. Civil disobedience

5.1.1. the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest.

5.2. sims

5.2.1. Trujillo's soldiers/ people

5.3. beauty scouts

5.3.1. Soldiers sent out to find young woman for Trujillo

5.4. assassination

5.4.1. Ending one's life for a political reason

5.5. Inolvidables mariposas

5.5.1. Unforgettable butterflies

5.6. Ajusticiamiento

5.6.1. Execution

6. Civil Disobedience

6.1. Civil disobedience it refusing to comply to some laws, taxes. This is a form of political protest that it most often peaceful. There are many examples of civil disobedience in the past, such as Rosa Parks refusing to sit in the back of the bus. Civil disobedience is a very powerful way of protesting because if enough people refuse to follow laws etc. the government must do something about it.


8. Rafael Trujilto (Dictatorship)

8.1. Took control of the Dominican Republic in 1930

8.2. Abused human rights

8.3. Was successful in reducing foreign debt

8.4. Was able to escape rebuke from higher ups for decades.

8.5. His reputation went bad after there were reports on the massacre of 20,000 haitians

8.6. Trained as a U.S. Marine in 1918

8.7. Attempted assassinatin on Venezuelan President Romulo Betancourt in

8.8. When he was the dictator of the DR, the US allowed refugees into the country.

8.9. During his dictatorship, there was conflict between the Haitai and DR border, the haitians stole from the DR, this caused the Haitian massacre (of 20,000)


8.11. Rafael Trujillo NHD Documentary

9. Rafael Trujilto (Personal Life)

9.1. Was the 3rd of 11 children

9.2. Born to a lower middle-class family

9.3. Born in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic

9.4. Born on October 24, 1891

9.5. Received an elementary education

9.6. Worked as a telegraph operator and a guard for a sugar plantation.

9.7. Trained by the US marines when he was 18



10. Hispaniola

10.1. 22nd largest island in the world

10.2. In the Greater Antilles

10.3. Mostly Christian/ Roman Catholic

10.4. Second largest island in the West Indies

10.5. Christopher Columbus landed on Hispaniola


10.7. History of Hispaniola

11. Julia Alverez

11.1. Her inspiration for the novels is from living uner trujiltos dictatorship

11.2. "When I'm asked what made me into a writer, I point to the watershed experience of coming to this country. Not understanding the language, I had to pay close attention to each word -- great training for a writer"

11.3. Julia Alvarez: official author website

11.4. Was born in NY

11.5. Parents failed stay at the US led to them going back to th DMR. she was 3 months old

11.6. Her parents preferred the dictatorship of T over the US in the 50s

11.7. her father got invloved with the underground / got in trouble, they fled back to NY around the 1960s

11.8. "When I'm asked what made me into a writer, I point to the watershed experience of coming to this country. Not understanding the language, I had to pay close attention to each word -- great training for a writer. I also discovered the welcoming world of the imagination and books. There, I sunk my new roots. Of course, autobiographies are written afterwards. Talk to my tías in the D.R. and they'll tell you I was making up stuff way before I ever set foot in the United States of America. (And getting punished for it, too. Lying, they called it back then.) But they're right. As a kid, I loved stories, hearing them, telling them. Since ours was an oral culture, stories were not written down. It took coming to this country for reading and writing to become allied in my mind with storytelling." - Julia Alvarez (


12.1. Girl looks depressed

12.2. Eye might be injured

12.3. Windowsill/ wall shows poverty

12.4. She looks like she's trapped

12.5. color/ contrast shows mode, emotion, and time period

12.6. Window is placed on the side of the book cover to put more emphasis on the cracked walls

13. Novel Predictions:

13.1. Based on research and discussion, I think that the novel Before We Were Free will be about the Hispaniolan dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. I also think that the novel will be about someone that resists the dictatorship, the Mirabel sisters will have a part in the plot, but the book will most likely not be about them and their resistance. The author will probably include the details about the dictatorship and resistance a lot throughout the novel.